It’s hard for me to discuss Miracle Mile analytically without mentioning just how boring it all is.
I mean it’s all reasonably well made and probably quite realistic in a low budget way… it’s just that it is so straightforward and linear – after the first 15 odd minutes – that you can’t help but think ‘well that was… expected’.
But for those in the cheap seats; Miracle Mile starts with a guy Harry (Anthony Edwards) meeting a gal Julie (Marie Winningham). The two hit it off, arrange a date, spend a lovely day together and tee up another late night meeting to… take the relationship to the next level.
Harry then becomes the only guy on a ‘promise’ ever to miss the alarm. I mean black-out or not if you’ve had the dry spell Harry claims to have had you’re awake every 3 minutes looking at the clock, mentally pushing the second hand forwards!
Anyway after missing the hook up Harry waits at the all hours diner where they were to meet, hoping in vain for Julie to show or return his call. It is when the payphone – it is the 80s remember – rings in the wee early hours and he picks up that by chance he receives the somewhat depressing news that nuclear war is looming and L.A. is a prime target.
Harry and Julie live in L.A.
In even more of a daze than before Harry stumbles back into the diner among the usual 4am café crowd and gives the news. They initially aren’t impressed and write him off as an unwelcome prankster, but within 5 minutes Harry and the remaining diners are aboard a delivery truck pointed straight out of town.
The remainder of the film follows Harry as he finds his way back to Julie by any means, there are carjackings, confrontations and deaths, all probably justified given the circumstances… unless it is all a hoax.
We learn the truth eventually and everything becomes strangely realistic in the final sequences, though not in a cheery or entertaining way.
Anthony Edwards tries real hard to remain believable at all times even with the rising tension and increasingly dramatic situation, I found some of his choices and actions a little strange but then who is to say how you would react if it seems everything you knew was unceremoniously turning to shit?
If nothing else Miracle Mile is an interesting curio to a time when the threat of looming nuclear war was still a genuine fear. While it would doubtless be no picnic in real life it also isn’t much fun sitting through it in cinematic form.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. I remember the previews for this when I first started renting a lot of movies on VHS – never watched it then. It took 20 odd years for me to prove my non-renting decision right.