To be honest, I tend to avoid inspirational true stories. Most of the time, they feature a cast of people from marginalized backgrounds and use one white character to save them. With Dennis Quaid holding the spotlight in the promotional images, I was worried that Blue Miracle would be the same. Thankfully though, I was completely wrong, and while Quaid plays a part in the movie, he isn’t anyone’s savior. Instead, Netflix Original Blue Miracle is a drama about finding family and the resiliency that forms by coming out of the harshest circumstances.
Directed by Julio Quintana, Blue Miracle is written by Quintana and Chris Dowling. The film stars Jimmy Gonzales, Anthony Gonzalez, Raymond Cruz, Nathan Arenas, Miguel Angel Garcia, Isaac Arellanes, and Steve Gutierrez. Inspired by a true story, Blue Miracle centers on Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Cavo San Lucas, Mexico, run by Omar (Jimmy Gonzales)—Papa Omar to the kids he takes care of. After a devastating storm, Jimmy and his wife are stuck under a mountain of debt and then repair costs. On the edge of bankruptcy, Omar is desperate to find a way to save the orphanage, and in doing so, keep the boys he’s raising as his own safe and off the streets. But with all avenues closed, he turns to a local fishing tournament with hopes of a miracle.
Now there are a few issues with this plan. First, despite being in Mexico, no Mexican team has ever won the tournament. Second, neither he nor his boys have ever fished before. But through a little luck and unfortunate events, Casa Hogar teams up with the reluctant Captain Wade Malloy (Dennis Quaid), a previous two-time tournament champion, hoping he can steer them to victory. But Molloy isn’t happy-go-lucky and at the top of his game; nope. Molloy is a gruff curmudgeon of a fisherman who is fighting his own challenges. But, true to form for the genre, once out on the open ocean, unexpected friendships are created, and strengths are tested.
The story is straightforward and fairly paint by numbers. That said, the cast works well together, and they make Blue Miracle shine. Specifically, as Papa Omar, Gonzales has not only charisma with others on screen, but when paired with the children, there is a rapport and respect between them that feels genuine. Sure there are cheesy moments, but they all have charm. The love that Gonzales can put on screen for the boys in his charge is beautiful. As for the young actors, while their parts are fairly minimal line-wise, moments on the boat and the back-and-forths they have with each other are great to watch.
It should be pointed out that for better or worse, the film has a core of faith and prayer. But even the explicit moments aren’t too much if you’re an atheist like me. In fact, the only element of the film that doesn’t work is that we know what the film will be from the first act. That said, the fact that Papa Omar is the center of the story and the person who saves the day keeps this inspirational film from becoming yet another white savior story.
Overall, Blue Miracle sticks to the time-tested formula for the genre, but the performances from Gonzales and the boys are more than enough to give it a watch if you’re into the “heart-warming” inspirational drama films.
Blue Miracle is streaming exclusively on Netflix on May 27, 2021.
Overall, Blue Miracle is pretty plain by numbers but the performances from Gonzales and the boys are more than enough to give it a watch if you’re into “heart-warming” inspirational drama films.