The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning from a distraction from world events. With the world watching the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels' now famous question, to the millions viewing at home: Do you believe in miracles? Yes!Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Second Collaboration Between Malcolm Stewart and Patricia Clarkson the first was 9 years earlier in the feature film Jumanji playing characters that lived 26 years apart although they never shared anytime on screen together. See more »
When Herb is watching the video of the Soviet team training the players are all wearing CCM helmets. In the 1970s and 1980s that's highly unlikely. Almost all players wore JOFA helmets. See more »
At first I thought.... there is way too much dialog and way too little hockey (or humor) ... but that all changed in the second half of the movie which made the first half well worth the wait. Kurt Russell plays the no-nonsense Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 Olympic Hockey team that won the Olympic Gold. (Do you remember where you were?)
I guess what most impressed me about the film was how amazing the editing and camera work was. I think it will count as a "first" in a lot of categories, not the least of which was camera work. The way they spliced the actual historical footage, (courtesy of the Olympic Committee) with the new footage and the actors, was so seamless and elegant, and the result was quite compelling and original. I don't think I've ever seen such well executed editing before, not even in the Hobbit movies ;-).
The story itself was sweet and compelling. Kurt Russell was great, in that you come to a point where you really hate this bastard so much, you just want to say, "No, You skate again you mother(bleep)er!" I love the 70's haircuts and clothes and the accents.. the larger issues of the Cold War are not too fore fronted, but they are present enough that you see how important the win is for the US. Also, you see that his coaching really did pay off in the end: There is a point where the MC says, "the US has never out-skated the Soviets like this before..." and you recall the practice that Brooks makes them skate even after the rink has closed. (He was pretty brutal.) The Russian players are down-right frightening, so you get a real sense of what these kids are up against... they can hardly make eye contact they are so intimidated... but in the end, the "eye scene" as I call it, is enough to make even the biggest cynic, "get veclemt".
Some people have called the film vapid nationalism (others are p***ed off because it was filmed entirely in Canada) but I think it was more about what a team of players (not any one individual or prima dona player) can do. It was also the last time a team of real amateurs actually won, before players became entertainers commanding million plus salaries, so I guess it has some important historical value.
The film also has a real "Indie" feel. It stars all kinds of unknowns and has all kinds of low-budget effects, the scenes mostly taking place on the rink or in locker rooms. There are many moments when your heart breaks for some of the players and their families.
I enjoyed it immensely and it sort of re-awakened my interest in hockey, which I'd long written off as too violent... Even the early fight scene between a player from Boston and Minnesota, which the coach encourages: "Don't stop them," he says to his assistant coach, played awesomely by Noah Emmerich (remember, Jim Carey's best buddy in the Truman Show?) is endurable when seen within the larger mission. Sadly this coach died in real life, according to the movie, before it was released... I guess he died just recently (and suddenly, though I don't know the whole story.)
Anyhow I give it 8 out of 10 stars. A good and somewhat sad movie about a history that now seems too distant.
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