Movie Review

CREDITS

RATING
TV-PG

GENRE
Action/Adventure, Drama

CAST
Jimmy Gonzales as Omar; Dennis Quaid as Wade; Miguel Angel Garcia as Moco; Anthony Gonzalez as Geco; Nathan Arenas as Hollywood; Isaac Arellanes as Wiki; Steve Gutierrez as Tweety; Silverio Palacios as Chato; Fernanda Urrejola as Becca; Raymond Cruz as Hector; Bruce McGill as Wayne Bisbee; Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Tricia Bisbee

DIRECTOR
Julio Quintana

DISTRIBUTOR
Netflix

IN THEATERS
May 27, 2021

REVIEWER
Emily Clark

Movie Review

Casa Hogar is an orphanage in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Run by “Papa” Omar and his wife, Becca, the group home helps get homeless youth off the streets.

Unfortunately, in 2014, Omar finds himself (and the orphanage) more than $100,000 in debt. The bank is ready to repossess the property, and the boys living there are once again looking at a bleak future sleeping under bridges and dodging hoodlums with guns.

However, there’s one hope for the boys—the Bisbee Black and Blue.

Known as the Super Bowl of fishing competitions, the Bisbee Black and Blue awards cash prizes in the hundreds of thousands. And after the town was devastated by Hurricane Odile, the $5,000 entrance fee was waived for local fishermen.

Omar doesn’t know anything about fishing, and neither do any of his boys. But Captain Wade does.

Living in his rundown boat on the docks, Wade is the only man who’s ever won the Bisbee two years in a row. But he’s technically not a “local fisherman.” He needs some homegrown teammates to qualify for free entry. And turns out, Casa Hogar might be just the ticket.

He doesn’t care about saving Casa Hogar: He’s more interested in riches and glory. And Omar is hesitant to expose his boys, who he’s trying to instill good moral values in, to someone who clearly doesn’t care about them.

But since neither man has any other options, they’ll have to learn to work together if they want any chance at realizing their dreams.

Positive Elements

Omar attempts to set a good example for the boys living at Casa Hogar, teaching them the importance of doing the right thing even when it’s difficult. Having lost his own father when he was very young, he understands what it’s like living on the streets. He acts as a father figure to the boys, setting them straight when they act out and doing everything he can to keep them safe and prevent them from winding up back on the streets.

When Moco, a boy brought to Omar by police, gets caught stealing, Omar makes the boy return the stolen item and apologize. Throughout the film, Omar tries to make headway with Moco, demonstrating with words and actions what it means to be a good man. And although Moco initially mocks Omar for being a do-gooder, little by little, he starts to learn these lessons as the other boys welcome him into their little family despite his questionable past.

Though Wade is sour to the boys of Casa Hogar at first, he warms up to them, teaching them about fishing and even doing his best to help them win so they can save their orphanage.

Wade repeatedly preaches that every man has a “calling to greatness.” He explains that most men are too scared to take up this calling, using things like their families as an excuse. We learn that he himself allowed his own family to walk away while he chased after his flailing dream. However, the boys of Casa Hogar call him out, telling him that his son doesn’t need him to be a winner; his son needs him to be present.

[Spoiler Warning] After winning the Bisbee, Wade donates his portion of the prize money to restoring Casa Hogar, and he goes back to Texas to be with his son.

Spiritual Content

Omar teaches the boys at Casa Hogar to pray. He tells them that God is always listening; however, he also explains that sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we think He will.

Omar gives Tweety, one of the younger boys at the orphanage, a “miracle” nail, claiming that if Tweety writes his prayers on a piece of paper and then nails them to a door with the nail, God will always hear his prayers. Tweety faithfully follows Omar’s advice, and the movie suggests that the boy’s childlike faith might be rewarded.

During a hurricane, one boy wonders aloud why they are lucky enough to be inside while others are out on the street, and another boy wonders if God actually brought them together so He could kill them all at once.

We see a cross hanging in the orphanage. Omar has a cross tattoo on his back. Wade believes a fishing lure is lucky.

Sexual Content
Omar and Becca kiss. A boy talks about flirting with women. A man mentions his ex-wife.

Violent Content

Omar runs while carrying a boy in his arms after several people get into a fight on the street and start shooting guns at each other. We see flashbacks of Omar running away from thugs when he was a child. We hear that several boys’ fathers and one boy’s brother were shot and killed in the past.

When a police officer brings Omar a kid with a bleeding head wound, Omar asks if the officer hit him, and the man says he “questioned” him.

Two boys tackle each other and fall into the water. Then Wade jumps in to save them since one can’t swim. Several boys show each other their scars, describing stories of abuse (one boy was stabbed in the leg with a rusty screwdriver by his uncle).

[Spoiler Warning] Omar has repeating nightmares about drowning. Flashbacks reveal that when he was a child, his father drowned after their rowboat was flipped over.

Crude or Profane Language
We hear one use each of “h—” and “p-ss.” We also hear a few Spanish profanities. God’s name is misused five times, once paired with “d–mit.”

Drug and Alcohol Content
Wade starts drinking after a bad day of fishing and Omar and Chato (Wade’s assistant) wonder if he’ll be too hung over the next day to finish the competition. People drink in a bar. We hear that some of Omar’s boys lost their dads to drugs. One of Omar’s old friends offers to hire him as a drug runner for some fast cash.

Other Negative Elements

Omar initially hides the fact that Casa Hogar is $117,000 in debt and ignores calls from the bank. When the boys find out how bad it is, they are frightened of landing back on the street. Some are hurt and feel that Omar lied to them about keeping them safe. Others worry they won’t be tough enough to survive on their own.

Wade admits that he cheated the second time he won the Bisbee, and he tries to coerce Omar into cheating. And even though Omar backs down at the last moment, it’s obvious that Wade had not changed his tune.

We hear that a man accidentally drank urine after someone peed in his coffee mug. Someone steals. People litter. Someone vomits offscreen. We hear that some of the boys’ dads are in prison.

Conclusion

Papa Omar instills the belief in his boys that when we pray, God is always listening even if He doesn’t necessarily answer our prayers the way we think He will. And that’s certainly what happens in Blue Miracle.

Omar never thought that his prayers to save Casa Hogar would result in teaming up a bunch of boys who’ve never been on a boat before with a crusty old fisherman for the world’s most prestigious fishing competition. But that’s exactly what God does.

We hear some heartbreaking tales about why the boys at Casa Hogar are orphans. And Omar and Becca sometimes have to be painfully realistic about the fact that these boys are all alone.

However, Omar also makes it clear that while these kids’ biological parents are no longer around, he is. He and Becca will provide for them, teach them and love them no matter what.

There are a few mild profanities to watch out for, and we see some flashes of violence. But otherwise, Blue Miracle tells a heartwarming true story about what it means to be a father and demonstrates that integrity and good character are the most valuable assets a person can possess.

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