Review by Trent Russi
This inspirational film about the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team is another true-life story about the athletic underdog. Kurt Russell plays Herb Brooks, a college coach and former player that wants another shot at Olympic gold. The rest of the cast is portrayed by an array of mostly unknown actors, giving the film a realistic feel.
Who do you play for?
The film is just positively oozing
with nationalistic pride. However, it's done poorly. Throughout the film we see the media playing up the historic and political nature of the meeting of the US and Russia. The coach tries to tell his wife it's just a hockey game, and these are just a bunch of kids. So ultimately the audience gets a wishy-washy middle ground.
Who's this film about?
As an ensemble piece the film looses so many of the characters due to the sheer number of them. The only character with consistent focus is Coach Brooks. This makes a lot of sense as he is the leader of this team. One with a real past. The film does a pretty good job with the character's present. His past is touched on briefly, but it is not as important. They put a little of his relationship with his wife and children in. But it is minimal. Mostly, they show how he cares for his players. His intense attachment to them and what they can accomplish.
Do you believe in Miracles?
All in all the film had the typical enthusiasm and heart that makes every inspirational sport film worth seeing. The sense of urgency in the last several minutes of the first medal round game are palpable. It was interesting because I knew the outcome of the game, because I happened to read about it before. And yet the film still made me uneasy with anticipation. What was going to happen?