I’m a big fan of soccer, I follow it passionately so it goes without saying that when there’s a movie made about soccer I’m there. The Miracle Match, directed by David Anspaugh, is about the famous 1950 World Cup match between the US and England, where the US pulled off a stunning upset against a favorite to win. Anspaugh is a pro in this genre, having already directed Hoosiers and Rudy. You might have heard of this movie, back when it was called The Game of Their Lives ,based on the book of the same name, but for the US dvd release it’s known as The Miracle Match. Why they changed it I have no idea.
The story begins in 2004 when a reporter, played by Ty Keough (Harry Keough’s real life son) is interviewing reporter Dent McSkimming, played by Patrick Stewart, at an MLS All Star game. We then flashback to the 1950s, when McSkimming, now played by Terry Kinney, was a reporter in an area know as The Hill in St. Louis. With the large minority population, this particular section of St. Louis thinks that soccer is king. Tryouts are being held locally to find players for the US National Team that will be participating in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. The local heroes try out and local favorites Frank Borghi, played by 300’s Gerard Butler; Frank “Pee Wee” Wallace, played by Jay Rodan; Charlie “Gloves” Columbo, played by Costas Mandylor; Gino Pariani, played by Louis Mandylor and Harry Keough, played by Zachery Ty Bryan, are chosen for the team and travel to New York.
In New York they’re joined by their teammates including Walter Bahr, played by Wes Bentley, who they had a bit of a bustup with on the tryout field. They then recruit Haitian dishwasher Joe Gaetjens, played by Heroe’s Jimmy Jean-Louis. The movie follows the team through their practices before leaving for Brazil and how they need to overcome adversity if they have a hope of winning a game.
Once in Brazil the movie practically jumps into the action with the US taking on England. The action scenes were done well although you could tell some of the guys never played before in their life.
Miracle Match is a well made film that will interest soccer fans and those that are interested by inspirational sports films. Some moments in the film were truly well-done and inspirational. The soccer scenes are filmed with a keen eye for the sport which made it nice to watch if you’re a fan of the Beautiful Game.