Hockey Mom Movie Camp Week 1: Mystery Alaska
Forgive the pun but it's really no "mystery" why this movie is so good. It's got hockey, a love story, a town's pride at stake, infidelity, hope and did I mention hockey?
Mystery Alaska plays out as a drama with some hockey in it. Yes, hockey is at its center but what makes it so good are the stories surrounding it. Let me put it to you in hockey terms, hockey in this movie is the forward and the supporting stories are the defensemen and the wingers. The particular plot line involving a Walmart-type takeover of the town's business while someone gets shot in the process is the crazy goalie.
It's got something for everyone.
Russell Crowe plays John Biebe, the town Sheriff who also happens to be the captain of a team in a place no one's ever heard of and where the Saturday game is a not-to-be-missed all citizen event. Selected by a town committee, the players take the pond every week for their and the town's enjoyment. It's business as usual until they are propositioned by the NY Rangers to play a friendly exhibition game on their very own pond.
That's when things REALLY start getting interesting.
Biebe is asked to step down from the team to allow the town's hotshot skater, a high school kid, to "come up" while the rest of Mystery team gets caught up in preparing for the televised game. Burt Reynolds does a fine job of playing Walter Burns, Mystery's judge and resident hockey expert who urges the residents to hold on to one thing that the town can be proud of..their dignity.
The performances are a lot of fun to watch. The team's players all have their individual identities including the gentle giant, two Native American brothers, a philandering douche bag and a goalie who breaks the "what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room" rule. Watch for a very funny scene depicting his punishment.
Other eccentric characters that occupy this movie are the attorney with a hockey based defense for his client and a surprise National Anthem singer. Rated R for some nudity, sexual situations, language, and presumably for the bit of minor violence, it's not for the youngest of your players.
Rating: 4 pucks out of 5
Have you seen it? Let me know what you thought of it and stay tuned for my review of Youngblood.