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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.46%
Worth A Look32.31%
Just Average: 24.62%
Pretty Crappy: 12.31%
Sucks: 12.31%

6 reviews, 29 user ratings

Mystery, Alaska
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by desdemona

"Some people place entirely too much value in sports."
3 stars

It wasn't a terribly bad movie. It wasn't a terribly good movie. It was just a movie. Just a plain old regular movie. A sports movie, at that. But just a movie. Just like any other movie. Predictable plot, predictable characters, predictable events. A movie most people have already seen in different variations. A warm, fuzzy, and utterly forgettable movie.

I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. One could almost say I liked it, but the trouble is that I've already forgotten it. I remember feeling all warm and fuzzy at the happy-family-movie end of the movie, and I also remember having an irrepressable urge to throw a pair of ice skates on while walking out of the theatre. On the converse side, I also remember being incredibly bored through the first hour of the movie. Either it grew on me, or I got so bored that it suddenly became interesting. Simply put, it was mediocre at best.

Mystery is a small town right in the middle of the arctic Alaska, where the people are pretty much secluded from anything outside of themselves. They have one thing that holds the community together as tightly as family: the Saturday hockey game. The very best hockey players in their town get together every Saturday and play some good ol' fashioned hockey. And they're pretty damned good at it, to. In fact, they're so good that reporter and ex-Mysterian Charlie Danner (Hank Azaria) writes an article in Sports Illustrated about them, sparking interest in some important people who decide to send the New York Rangers over there to play against them. That's really it. No, I'm serious. That's about all there is to the plot. The rest can be summed up as follows: hurt male egos, corny male bonding, a premature ejaculation, an adulterous wife, a male slut that goes by the name of Skank, the male slut getting hit over the head repeatedly with a shovel, a guy getting shot in the foot, a jury of Mysterians finding the star center hockey-playing defendant not guilty in the shooting, some typical father/son relation problems, some typical getting over the father/son relation problems, an admittedly sad death of a kind and fat man, a jealous husband (but not the same husband whose wife was cheating on him), a near-cancellation of the fateful hockey game which the town had already poured thousands into, a restoration of the fateful hockey game which the town had already poured thousands into, a reporter finding himself again after doing some soul-searching, and an unfortunately predictable ending (I won't tell you, but you can guess). And it was all in the name of hockey. There were some funny moments, some sad moments, and some touching chick-movie moments, but none of that could make up for lack of plot.

I thought it was pretty sad how important that hockey game was to that town. Seriously, it's just a game. All the characters were spouting off about town pride and dignity, but realistically speaking, it's just a game. To them it was a matter of life or death. To me, it was just a game. Maybe I can never understand because I don't come from a town that small and desperate, but come on--it's just a game. The town just put way too much importance on hockey for my tastes. So far as I can tell, it's just a game. Now, maybe it was a little different because the NY Rangers were coming, but even before then the whole town placed all of it's pride and value into their hockey games. Being "accepted" onto the team was cause for great celebration, being "retired" was cause for great male egocentric concern. All I have to say is, it's just a game!!!

The acting was very good. Russell Crowe, Burt Reynolds, and Hank Azaria all played their parts very well, and they were backed by a strong supporting cast. And let's not forget the special cameo appearance of the Great One, Mr. Mike Myers! Overall, it was a decent movie. This won't win any Academy Awards for creativity, but it was one of those sweet little hope-inspiring overdone movies of human courage and determination.

It's been done before. Many, many times before. But it wasn't a bad little movie. It was nice without being sticky-sweet and overly corny. A nice little family movie, but don't expect anything that will change your views of humanity, life, and the rest of the world. And don't expect to see anything you haven't already seen before.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1199&reviewer=86
originally posted: 10/11/99 00:14:20
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User Comments

4/30/09 DMac Just caught it on cable, very entertaining, I can't believe critics slammed it so hard! 4 stars
1/03/04 Zara I luv this movie! I think that the premise was great. I esp. luv'd Kevin "Tree" Durand. 4 stars
7/05/03 Jack Sommersby Appealingly acted, but the screenplay is woefully cliched and pandering-down-to. 2 stars
5/30/03 Karli Mason It was a great film i watched it 3 times in a row i liked it so much! 5 stars
2/26/02 Sheila Evans Almost worst part of my week, in which I also got stuck in an elevator while I had diarrhea 1 stars
2/25/02 Bertha Venation Some awkward moments aside, a very entertaining movie; Rusty on skates is great 5 stars
1/31/02 Andrew Carden Excellent Movie....Wonderful Performances. 5 stars
8/20/01 sylvie I though the movie was great mostly becaue of this graet actor (tree) Kevin Durand 5 stars
7/02/01 R. Perreault Excellent especially the big guy Tree/Kevin Durand 5 stars
6/22/01 Elvisfan Ditto Alan below, except the Girl Scouts could've beaten the lousy NY Rangers 5 stars
5/28/01 Alan Great hockey movie 5 stars
1/14/01 Invader This movie was quaint and likable, Crowe believable even as a yank. 4 stars
10/08/00 wrob Great Scott!'s review is right on 2 stars
6/11/00 Lisa I was prepared to dislike this movie; I'm not a sports fan. But I liked the humor and story 3 stars
6/07/00 Monday Morning Always wondered what The Mighty Ducks did when they grew up. 3 stars
5/11/00 The Bomb 69 not bad, tried to cover too many character problems but still good overall 4 stars
4/02/00 Loz I loved it. Ryan Northcott and Rachel Wilson deserve credit for their performance 5 stars
3/25/00 Karen crowe is an aussie hunk 4 stars
3/18/00 Joel Harwood It was very good better than mighty ducks 4 stars
11/20/99 Mark God sakes! (That's a quote, don't get offended) 5 stars
10/11/99 Bozo It wasn't that bad ...good cast, good small-town feel, great Russell 4 stars
10/10/99 Weird Andy Sucks less than its asinine premise would lead one to believe. 3 stars
10/10/99 Ben Ryan Great cast, semi good plot line, but just plain damn fun. Is it a movie or real game? 4 stars
10/04/99 PhilmPhreak I liked it. More character than hockey. 4 stars
10/04/99 McCloud Scruffy manly men, comedy, a little suspense: Well worth the moola! 5 stars
10/03/99 Oktober It's been a long time since a sports movie has come around where you wanted to cheer aloud! 5 stars
10/01/99 ladislau Too long! And Reynolds has nothing to do with this film! 3 stars
10/01/99 Nelle This film was damn good!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
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  01-Oct-1999 (R)



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