Quick Hit: Kurt Russell with a surprise subtlety in this inspirational story of the 1980 Olympic U.S. Men’s Hockey Team.
Miracle is not really about the U.S. team. It’s more about the team’s coach, Herb Brooks. He’s played brilliantly by Kurt Russell, in a role very different from one’s I’ve seen before (I’m a very obvious Carpenter fan, having referenced him again and again). He sinks into the role of this hardened, impassioned man effortlessly. You can tell that he really put in the work with Brooks to embody him fully. If you watch this movie, you will be mainly paying attention to him, because he is the best part.
Unfortunately, it also shows at times during the off-the-ice-scenes, as the collective acting is nil. Luckily, the movie knows that this is a weak point, and instead focuses on Russell and the hockey.
The hockey scenes are exhilarating. They portray a lot of the speed, action, and confusion that takes place on the ice. Here, the athletes shine, as we feel each hit, each slap shot, and each push of speed.
There are two things I want to say before I finish out Miracle. The first is the true heart of the movie, the scene where Brooks finally gets buy-in from his players. He has pushed them to the brink after an exhibition game, and now they finally understand. They are a team, not individuals. And they are representing the greatest country in the world. It’s this lesson that I think more teams and athletes should embody. Donning the Stars and Stripes has become secondary to personal glory. That’s a shame, though understandable: humanity is selfish. (Ok, hop down from your podium David).
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"