The new Netflix drama Blue Miracle takes viewers on a generic yet touching adventure.
Blue Miracle ☆☆☆
Staring: Jimmy Gonzales, Dennis Quaid, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Fernanda Urrejola, Raymond Cruz, and Bruce McGill
Directed by: Julio Quintana
In September 2014, Casa Hogar – a cash-strapped orphanage in Cabo, Mexico – was struck by a devastating hurricane. The following month, in an attempt to save their orphanage, the sanctuary’s guardian and kids entered a major fishing tournament despite having no prior fishing experience. Their story has now inspired the film, Blue Miracle, an underdog drama that is equal parts cheesy and heart-warming.
The Netflix outing finds sturdy caregiver Omar (portrayed by Jimmy Gonzales) struggling with financial issues while running Casa Hogar and providing refuge to dozens of young boys. But when Hurricane Odile turns their situation from bad to worse, Omar is left with no option but to seek help which then leads to an unexpected opportunity. Wayne Bisbee (Bruce McGill), the director of the marlin fishing tournament Bisbee’s Black & Blue, enters Omar and his boys into the sport fishing tourney, partnering them with a washed-up previous winner, the grouchy captain Wade (Dennis Quaid).
How things subsequently unfold is very predictable but also quite heart-warming. It is fairly obvious that the proceedings have been heavily dramatized to fit the mould of an underdog sports movie, but even when the whole thing starts to feel entirely formulaic, it is still hard to resist the charms of the feel-good tale. You know exactly where this vehicle is heading at all times, yet you can’t help but feel a little moved when you arrive at the rousing destination.
Gonzalez makes an amiable lead and helps keep you invested in the drama, and Quaid likewise provides an effective performance (even though his character bears little to no similarities to his real-life counterpart). The main grown-up characters may not be particularly well-rounded but they have enough depth to keep the proceedings interesting. Their younger counterparts, however, have basically been reduced to one-dimensional stereotypes – brainy, snarky, sensitive, troubled – and not given enough of a chance to really develop. They are still likable though and make for a group that is easy to root for.
All in all, Blue Miracle is enjoyable if unexceptional family-friendly fare. It’s built on an intriguing real-life account, although the formulaic reworking of the tale has rendered it a little too generic. And while the movie doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it still knows how to reel viewers in and play on their heartstrings.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection