Miracles (1986) Blu-ray Review: Sometimes It Takes a Lot of Small Miracles to Make a Big One

In a small village somewhere in the jungles of South America, the young daughter of a tribal chief has become deathly ill. Kayum (Adalberto Martinez), the respected witch doctor, is called in to heal her, but even his powers cannot cure the girl. Finding himself staked to the ground and left to rot in the sun, Kayum calls out to God to bring him a real doctor that can save her. But his only response is a thunderstorm. Thankfully for the little girl, the thunderstorm is more than what it appears to be. And while that storm rages on another just as equally mysterious storm is brewing over New York. And this storm has a major effect on four people.

Juan (Paul Rodriguez) and Harry (Christopher Lloyd) are a couple of jewel thieves finishing up a burglary when lighting from the storm sets off the alarms and hits their car, melting all four tires and forcing them to find another way to escape. Juan takes off on foot and stumbles into the middle of the street, causing two vehicles to nearly crash into one another and sending one through the wall of a nearby store. Roger (Tom Conti), a doctor, leaps out of his undamaged vehicle and rushes to help the passenger of the wrecked car. To his surprise, he finds that the driver is none other than Jean (Teri Garr), the ex-wife he divorced just 12 hours previously.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Juan decides to carjack himself a new vehicle, taking the couple with him. Not only do they end up helping Juan escape, but they end up getting permanently tangled up with him as the police believe they are part of his gang. To escape the police, they find themselves being drug along when he meets back up with Harry who kidnaps them on a plane headed to Mexico.

The entire film is a sequence of events that occur to bring the doctor to the little girl. Some of them are simple acts that move the group along, like the woman who loses her heel in the street that punctures the tires of a cop car, allowing them to escape; the bullet in the gas tank that causes the plane to crash; and accidentally getting trapped in a boat. Others are comical like Juan and Harry parachuting onto the Mexican police who they get to find Roger and Jean, and the rock that the plane hits on top of a mountain that causes a chain reaction downwards and results in a giant boulder rolling over a bandit who was assaulting a family.

The Blu-ray is presented in 2.35:1 ratio with a DTS audio track. The video is of good quality, but the age of the film is obvious and has a slightly dull finish. The audio tracks are rich and utilize the surround sound, making it a more immersive experience. The special features are minimal and include “Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Jim Kouf and Associate Producer Lynn Kouf” and the “Original Theatrical Trailer”.

When the film begins, it’s a little confusing because it kept jumping around between the different characters and the storm, and you are immediately pushed into the action without knowing much about the characters. Three of the four main characters were played by very familiar actors, but Conti was someone not known for his comedy acting. It did come across in his performance as he was a bit stiff and seemed a little out of place. However, he does grow on you in the part but sometimes he sounds like Ray Romano and it’s a little distracting.

While the film is a little rough at the beginning, once they get aboard the plane and escape from the cops it begins to gel together. The basic plot is simple but watching all the incidental “miracles” occur throughout is what adds the little touches to the film that make you smile. Overall, it’s an entertaining story that has a number of familiar faces and a happy ending that would make a nice addition to anyone’s ‘80s collection.

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Todd Karella

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