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The remote and isolated Mystery, Alaska, a
little town on the outskirts of greatness, may look cold and unexciting
from the outside, but inside, behind closed doors, Mystery has
all the sex scandals, hidden secrets, prying eyes and political
hypocrisies of any urban den of iniquity. And, it has a darn good
Drama - Mystery, Alaska is a comedy-drama about small-town residents
and their love of hockey. Hockey fans might be most likely to enjoy
the film, especially the scenes of hockey game action. Many others
will find the pacing far too slow, with too much focus on extraneous
PROFANITY: Strong and extremely frequent SEX/NUDITY: Graphic sexual motions, no nudity VIOLENCE: Sports violence, a shooting DRUGS/ALCOHOL: One scene of drunkenness ACTION: Hockey game action COMEDY: Quirky comedy involving eccentric characters
After two obscenely bloated hours of MYSTERY, ALASKA, the question
may no longer be how David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal,"
"Chicago Hope," "Snoops") can be so prolific, but why he doesn't know when to quit. Ostensibly, the film is the story of a tiny Alaskan hamlet whose local-hero hockey team gets to play an exhibition against the New York Rangers. It then proceeds to heap so much extra baggage on the story that it never has a chance of getting off the ground. The first hour of the film is a grinding ordeal, so
fragmented and unfocused that it's easy to forget what it's all supposed to be leading up to.
Mystery, Alaska -- In this little town on the outskirts of greatness,
completely isolated by glaciers and vast, snowy mountains, there are only two
things to do when the temperature drops below zero: Stay inside with your spouse
(or somebody else's), or get out and learn to skate on a glacier.
The legendary hockey players of Mystery are born on skates. And the weekly
hockey game on the local "pond of dreams" is much more than a sport --
it's a ritual celebration attended with religious devotion, the only thing that
holds the players together. But then an article in a sports magazine prompts the
National Hockey League to send the New York Rangers to challenge these local
heroes in a "Rocky"-like, back-to-the-roots-of-hockey exhibition game.
The publicity stunt thrusts this tiny town and writer David E. Kelley's and Sean
O'Byrne's colorful characters into the national spotlight and promises fame and
fortune for everybody.
But the invading corporate circus threatens to destroy the only thing that
matters to Mystery: the pure ritual of the local sport. Will the boys of winter
transcend the hype and take on the Rangers in a real contest? Or will they
become a national joke? The outcome is only a game away.