Mystery, Alaska (1999)


“Every ex-player turned coach says that they prefer coaching over playing. Why would they all say that?” – Donna Biebe

“Because they can’t play.” – John Biebe

Number of Times Seen – Twice (21 Jan 2001 and 8 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A small town hockey team in Alaska gets the opportunity to play an exhibition game against the New York Rangers.

My Take on it – This is a fun film that I saw nearly twenty years ago and only recalled the stellar cast that appears in the movie.

The story is quite fun but the fact that they never seem to manage to do more with this cast of characters is quite a disappointment.

This movie feels more like a pilot for a TV show because they introduce so many characters along the way with various issues that need to be resolved in 2 hours.

That’s far too detrimental to things because it all feels far too crowded and congested the entire way through.

The film does have a superb cast led by Russell Crowe and Burt Reynolds but due to the vast number of characters and story lines, things feel too much like an ensemble since most of these characters don;t get enough screen time.

The story instead focuses far too much on the group of characters a whole and fails to do something even greater with the story.

This film has some really fun scenes along the way, but unfortunately it misses its mark far too often along the way.

Bottom Line – Fun film that doesn’t manage to do more with its characters and premise.  It feel much more like a TV show pilot than a movie because it introduces far too many characters with issues that need to be resolved within 2 hours. This actually causes the story to feel far too congested.  The cast is great yet due to the large amount of characters, none of them are given enough individual screen time.  The story focuses too much on the group as a whole which makes it feel like an ensemble film instead of something seeking a greater impact. There are some really fun scenes here, but on a whole the film misses its mark far too often.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The defense Russell Crowe teaches the team is a Neutral Zone Trap, or simply, The Trap/Trap. It was made famous by the NJ Devils in the late 1990s and early 2000s, culminating in three Stanley Cup championships. It greatly diminishes scoring opportunities. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “Mystery, Alaska (1999)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1999 | MovieRob

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