First Hit: This film is predictable but interesting enough to stay watching.
The “Big Miracle” lets the audience know the outcome before you even buy a ticket. Nevertheless it is film version of a real story that took place back in 1988 when Ronald Reagan was president.
Three California Grey whales were trapped 5 miles from the ocean and were only breathing through an air hole in the ice. The air hole was closing fast and the native Eskimos wanted to harvest the whales for food.
Adam Carlson, local reporter (played by John Krasinski) had been trying to find fame in a story so that he could move to the lower 48, filmed a segment which got picked up around the world and all of a sudden the whales had a rooting gallery.
Adam feeling the plight of the whales call his former girlfriend Rachel Kramer (played by Drew Barrymore) who is a Greenpeace honcho. Rachel comes up to rally everyone to save the whales and also makes some enemies while she is as it. The one machine which can break up the ice is owned by an oil company which is run by J. W. McGraw (played by Ted Danson).
He’s always at war with Rachel over the oil drilling rights to a wildlife sanctuary. He thinks it will be good press to help. Everyone in this film has an objective to better their standing in the community. Rachel is the only one who is focused on only doing her job but as pointed out by others this publicized effort will provide a campaign boost for Greenpeace. T
he Russian’s assist in the end with an ice breaker ship and there is a reasonably happy ending to it all. However, the film is extremely predictable, even if you weren’t alive in 1988. The set-ups are very obvious and there is really no suspense to this.
I don’t know if the director made it this way to make it PG friendly or if the story really was this obvious. The highlight of the film was in the credits, where they showed the real people in scenes who really saved these whales back in 1988.
Krasinski does a good job of making us believe his character makes the right choices for his career and life. Barrymore wasn’t her best here. Some scenes she was great and others, she came off a little shrill and without a deep basis of the knowledge of her position. Danson was particularly over done as an oil company executive. Ahmaogak Sweeney as Nathan a native young boy caught between the modern world and his ancestral ways was good and very entertaining. Jack Amiel and Michael Beglar wrote this mediocre script. Ken Kwapis directed this with a lighthearted hand especially when he brings in two guys from Minnesota who have a machine that keeps the ice holes open longer.
Overall: A light-hearted film which was entertaining and interesting enough to have it be enjoyable.