Like the title suggests, ” Big Miracle” is a big movie with big stars like Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, big ideas–culture clashes, network news parodies–big running time–almost two hours–but most of all it has a big heart.
Krasinski plays Adam Carlson an ambitious television reporter paying his dues in Alaska. When he uncovers a story about three whales trapped beneath the ice in the remote community of Barrow the story goes national, attracting the attention of everyone from his ex girlfriend, a Greenpeace activist played by Drew Barrymore to an oil baron (Ted Danson) to the American public and even Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev (Favorite line in the movie? “Gorby, it’s Ronnie!”).
“Big Miracle” has many story threads running throughout. The plight of he whales is the starting int for the film to examine the culture of the north, the ruthlessness of the news business, Cold War co-operation between the US and Russia, the oil business and there’s even a love story thrown in for good measure.
This many ideas shouldn’t really work, but somehow the film’s earnestness helps everything gel. No great answers are provided and most everything is painted in broad family friendly strokes, but like I said in the intro, the film has heart and in this case that goes a long way.
Having said that it also has to be noted that the whale puppets used throughout are smarter and have more soul than many of the human characters. Barrymore in particular seems like hysterical stereotype than effective activist but it’s worth getting past her histrionics to catch a glimpse of a certain Alaskan celebrity who makes a brief, unexpected cameo near the end.