Here's a mystery for you: "Why are sports movies so boring?" Oh wait, that's no mystery. The reason is that sports, in general are boring enough without someone trying to back it up with whatever dramatic storyline you can possibly relate to the sport at hand. I can't believe that no one is doing a sports drama that deals with parkinson's, which is more compelling and realistic than most of the stuff these people come up with. I don't care if you think your wife doesn't love you just because she laughed at her high school boyfriend, Russell. Ironically, this film really isn't that boring. Hey, it's all paced pretty smoothly to me after "Tin Cup", which was basically over 2 hours of Kevin Costner doing pretty much nothing other than lightly tapping a ball into a hole with a club.
But seriously though, while the film is certainly more exciting than most sports flicks, it does still have slow spots and like most slow films, it's vulnerable to other flaws. Here, these flaws include a mild lack of development, a somewhat inconsistant sense of humor, a deal of fall-flat jokes, some vile dialogue, (I'm not a whimp, I'm just saying that what Crowe's character's wife sarcastically said to express her excitement about the town getting a Zamboni was some ol' high school freshman bull) a bit of an out-of-place score, ceesiness, melodrama, forced plot points, predictability, a lot of cliches and an atmosphere that's too clean for the mature content. Still, as flawed as the film is, it remains pretty decent. For this, we have to thank a decent storyline, some nice cenimatography, fair performances and a solid and heartwarming ending, Hallmark-tastic though it may be. Ultimately, "Mystery, Alaska" is a cliched, melodramatic and gratuitously mature mess, but the well-ended story and performances are compelling enough to make it a decent watch.