A young man meets and falls in love with a young woman at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. This area is known as Miracle Mile, and the whole movie takes place there. They make a date, which he misses, and while he is searching for her, he accidentally finds out that we (the United States) are about to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. He frantically searches for her so that they can escape Los Angeles.
Directed by: Steve De Jarnatt
. Starring: Anthony Edwards
, Mare Winningham
, John Agar
, Lou Hancock
, Mykelti Williamson
, Kelly Jo Minter
, Kurt Fuller
, Denise Crosby
, Robert DoQui
, O-Lan Jones
, Claude Earl Jones
, Alan Rosenberg
, Danny De La Paz
. Music by: Paul Haslinger
, Tangerine Dream
It is always amusing and befitting -in a most kismet-rich way- when one comes to realize that many productions that have garnered your attention, admiration and acclaim have one thing in common... In the case of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The X-Files, Strange Brew, ER and Miracle Mile - it is Steve De Jarnatt. Who knew? I sure did not - until just now! Superman De Jarnatt (super for his multi-talented multi-tasking) has served as writer, director or producer on all of these - and Miracle Mile is unquestionably his masterpiece. I would even give him kudos for daring to try something new with Cherry 2000 and Futuresport (which featured Superman Dean Cain incidentally) - however, by the time he got to those, he had already committed his chef d'oeuvre. And, once again, that is Miracle Mile.
"MM" is not entirely about mass hysteria at all - it focuses on a very small cast of characters for three quarters of the movie and that is its strength. The main character, so convincingly portrayed by Anthony Edwards (before he went both "strictly quality TV" and bald) is indeed the perfect everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances that, deep down, strike a chord in everyone of us. What happens to this character is, secretly, our greatest fear to us all - and cold war or no cold war... 80s or new millennium... THIS COULD STILL HAPPEN! That is why this movie has remained timeless, despite the many tiny eighties thingies that age it... and annoy the eagle-eyed keen observer! Mare Winningham is a touching ladylove for the hero - much more than a mere love interest too... She is the reason why our hero is so human - the reason why he tries to do "the right thing", in this, the ultimate no-win situation... Mare has had roles like this often enough to win my respect and admiration - she was equally touching in Turner & Hooch... And she was better still in Wyatt Earp.
Mare's reaction to Edwards' words -as he evokes Superman of all things to signify how much he loves her- is simply the sweetest thing ever delivered by any actress in the history of film! (Supes sure can turn a piece of coal into a diamond... However, he's never around when he's truly needed. In this situation... nor during 911. But I digress...)
Kurt Fuller... I never thought I'd comment on his performance in a "major motion picture"... He dies a good death in this one ; which certainly eclipses all that he's ever done on TV fare such as "Time Cop". The deaths that take the cake here though remain the cops on fire... However, Fuller's demise is much more meaningful - see the film and you'll know why.
This movie's magic is greatly enhanced by the mesmerizing music of Tangerine Dream - NO ONE can score a film like Tangerine Dream! Not even Enya! They are, quite simply, the best of the best. I wish they'd wise up in Hollywood and get Tangerine Dream to score more films - whether collectively or individually, for the guys that make up Tangerine Dream are effective in any working conditions! As Superman himself once said (Christopher Reeve - not this new guy now!) about John Williams' music greatly enhancing his powers - likewise "TD" makes this film atmospheric even in its rather ordinary quasi-John Hughes moments... Quite the feat indeed! As another reviewercommenter suggested here, it is an excellent idea to see this film once a year. A reminder that the nuclear threat is STILL OUT THERE is always good, I say. This movie is a lesson in humanity - 101! Every type of behaviour is on display here ; and the mass hysteria sequence is deplorable but completely understandable.
The last time I saw this film was... in 1999, fittingly! On the eve of the new millennium (that really only started in 2001) and in December too. I never took the time to see it again since then - but each new year that is rung in, I do think of this film! Seems like each extra year we get -each extra mile we go- is a miracle indeed in the crazy world we live in... It sure is a miracle no one has "pushed the button" yet - is it not?
Review by luminous_luciano from the Internet Movie Database.