It would not be American Hollywood without a little sports motivated movie to ring in the Spring season. Tonight, yours truly starts his double decker review with a film that looks to be an inspiration to… high school volleyball players and their younger counterparts. Based on true events, tonight’s review starts with a move that will hopefully bump, set, and spike your way to scoring high-points fun. Tired of all the sports puns? Yeah me too, so let’s get started with yet another Robbie Movie Review on:
Title: The Miracle Season
–The Pace: Movies like this strike a chord for their key demographics, but to the rest of the world it can fall on deaf ears. Fortunately for those who accompany tweens and teens, the movie isn’t that long and the pace is decent to keep things on point. The editing was able to tighten what could have been a drawn-out film and as such gets you into the games/drama quick and then gets you right back out.
–The Inspiration: Miracle, Remember the Titans, even Million Dollar Arm have proven effective in motivating the audience members (primarily aspiring athletes) to go an accomplish their dreams and goals…well some of us anyway. The Miracle Season is yet another win on the board of motivation, utilizing a polished script, great visualization, and tailored acting to deliver the messages within. Hope, remembering, inner strength, and will power are just some of the qualities that audience members can soak up. No matter how many times I see portrayals like this I get the feelings all over.
–The Musical Score: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but a good musical score can really drive the point home for movies. The Miracle Season rings strong in this category, bringing a powerful orchestra score to the game sequences to amplify the effects of an already high stress scene. While the Katy Perry songs are cute, cuddly, and well-fitting for empowerment, it’s really the drum infused, high school spirited instrumental work that brings the full power of the movie.
Predictable: These movies seldom have big surprises, and this movie is no exception. The trailers have already given away the major events, and given it is an inspirational sports’ movie, you can pretty much guess what will happen. No surprises, no major twists, not even suspenseful teasing…it’s just one predictable montage.
Preachy: Movies are famous for crossing the lines into this territory, it just depends on how powerful the monologue and speech are to provide the message. Where Disney fueled movies have accomplished the dramatic delivery, this movie only managed to hit 50% in regards to the power of delivering the message. Instead, the simplistic lines, overdramatic camera angles, and obvious direction take the movie down a semi-cheesy preach fest that eventually feels like it belongs on a day-time soap opera. It delivers the message well enough but fails to deliver the magic that Disney has made famous.
Shotty Character Development: Again, a good effort, but does not quite reach maximum work the movie could have really used. The main characters of Kelly, Brez and Ernie (Moriarty, Hunt, and William Hurt respectively) get the most in terms of evolution, but past these characters the rest are very simplistic in regards to growing. Most of the team are simply extras to fill in the team and allow for some volleyball shots, while others have a few lines that show promise of deeper involvement, but then taper off. In a movie all about the players and the miracle they experienced, I was hoping for more depth in the team as a whole.
Editing Disproportionate: While the movie is fairly tight, I felt that the editing took out the wrong material of what I wanted to see. The Miracle Season focuses on the slower parts of the journey, taking more time to show practice, talking, and preparation than the actual games. When the big moments come up you might expect a few decent sequences of awesome volleyball action. However, the movie instead traded these potentially exciting bouts for more tear-jerking moments of sulking, girl talk, and some unneeded detours that added little for me in the movie. Sentimental? Yes. Hard hitting, sports prowess? Not even close.
Anti-Climactic: All of these dislikes sum up to one things, anti-climactic. The Miracle Season may be motivating, but it really lacks the exciting climax I was hoping to get in the movie. Even in the final games, the montages experience a drought of any dramatic tension, presented as just a bland spectacle of spandex wearing warriors doing some cool choreography. I do admit, there are some awe inspiring plays, but as a whole needed more to get the full effects.
The Miracle Season is certainly a public service announcement about the power of hard work, hope, and teamwork. It will serve as the fuel for future young females (especially athletes) to have a fantastic season, and push their limits. As a collective work though, it needed to add more pizazz overall and really add the magic to their moments to create the tension they wanted. In addition, more development of characters and team relationships could have taken this movie farther, but still it’s got the gusto to appeal to its demographic. While an enjoyable movie, this film is best left to renting than the theater in my opinion, unless you need it for the big game to inspire the troops.
Movie Overall: 5.0