MOVIE “Blue Miracle”
OR Streaming on Netflix
WHAT IS IT ABOUT The true story of a Cabo San Lucas, Mexico-based Casa Hogar Orphange team competing in the 2014 Bisbee Black and Blue Fishing Tournament becomes the fodder for the inspiring sports film “Blue Miracle”.
Jimmy Gonzalez plays Omar, who runs the cash-strapped orphanage with his wife Becca (Fernanda Urrejola), and teams up with grizzled two-time champion Wade (Dennis Quaid) with some of the boys at Casa Hogar for the three-way competition. days, when the biggest catch wins a prize big enough to pay off large debts.
MY SAY “Blue Miracle” might not be a Disney movie, but anyone who knows the studio’s model for wellness sports entertainment knows exactly what to expect from each frame.
All the familiar standards are here: the cast of the underdogs, led by a failed veteran whose best days are behind him; the touches of divine intervention; the overwhelming disappointment and the last minute drama.
It’s painstakingly predictable and unabashedly sincere. There are allusions to the difficult lives the boys lived before becoming part of the Casa Hogar family, flashbacks to past traumas, and even a shot of street violence. But there is relatively little room for realism.
Indeed, the most important action takes place on the fishing boat, which serves as a useful reminder as to why there are relatively few fishing movies – it’s not the most glittering cinematic sport.
The characters spend most of the three days of the tournament bored, sitting on Quaid’s little ship, swaying in the waves, desperately waiting for something to happen.
It’s a classic scriptwriting challenge: by confining more than half of the film to a singular setting with relatively little ramifications for moving the plot forward during this time, Quintana and co-writer Chris Dowling didn’t nowhere to hide.
The only way forward is through a compelling cast of characters that generate enough interpersonal drama to prop things up while everyone else is seated.
Children, including Geco (Anthony Gonzalez), Hollywood (Nathan Arenas) and Moco (Miguel Angel Garcia), are not developed beyond singular character traits.
Jimmy Gonzalez’s Omar is so benevolent that he begins to feel less like a real person than an idealized fiction. The filmmakers recognize the need to complicate the picture: there are references to his difficult past, including criminal activity.
One of the best scenes in the film is mixed with a hint of threat, as she finds Omar in a bar with Hector (Raymond Cruz, from “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”), an acquaintance from those previous years.
But “Blue Miracle” is too constrained by its formula to go further.
And no matter how hard Quaid nibbles the scenery, with his husky voice, flawless demeanor, and general crab character, it’s still not enough to distract from the reality that there are so many more exciting things to do in a day than watching people fish.
LOWER LINE There haven’t been a lot of fishing movies for a reason: it’s boring.