Thursday, March 22, 2012

Big Miracle

You gotta love a feel good movie like Big Miracle.  Everyone loves whales.  Big Miracle follows the story of a family of whales trapped in the ice in Alaska.  Those of you who are old enough, and who have a decent memory, will remember the media circus around these whales in 1988.

The story revolves around a reporter who first found the whales, his Greenpeace activist ex-girlfriend, and the head of a big, bad oil company who wants to drill, baby, drill.  As it turns out, they can all work together, with a ton of help from the locals (whale hunters, no less) and even some evil (this was before the fall of communism, after all) Russians.
A great subplot: this traditional grandpa passing on the ways of his people to his modern-minded grandson.

It's a heart-warming tale, without being too sappy, which captures the spirit and climate of Alaska well.  I was surprised how respectful the film was toward all the parties involved, honoring the traditions of the native Alaskans, showing the friendly side of the news media, making me not hate Greenpeace, and making greenies not hate the oil company.  As a bonus, we get a cameo of Sarah Palin, the big-haired sports anchor, in all her 1980s glory!  Watch for her at the very end of the movie.

My one complaint: this is billed as a family movie, and there was a lot of mild swearing.  My 10 year old was appalled.  He wanted to leave the theater, but I insisted we stay (Does that make me a bad dad?).  At the end he gave me a tally: around 20 cusses.  I wish I could ask the filmmakers why they insisted on including such language (although to most people, it may seem like the language is unrealistically mild).

Bottom line, 3 stars.

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