A poster for Mystery, Alaska
Film,  Podcast

Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘MYSTERY, ALASKA’

The Mighty Yuks

A poster for Mystery, Alaska

Mystery, Alaska is a classic underdog tale. The small town who lives for hockey is thrust into the spotlight when given the opportunity to faceoff against the NHL’s New York Rangers (those rascally Rags).

Starring Russel Crowe— who was at the peak of his leading man powers—as sheriff/defenseman John Biebe, the movie centers on the sleepy Alaskan town of Mystery. It’s a place that takes pride in many things, but hockey is really its treasure.

Thus, when the opportunity arises for them to play the aforementioned Rags, the town is abuzz. Throw in some drama around old romances, unfaithful spouses, leaky locker room betrayal, and an old curmudgeon who needs a reason to love the game again, you’ve got yourself the recipe for a great sports film.

Unfortunately, those ingredients did not equate to critical or box office success. Earning just $8.9 million on a budget of $28 million, Mystery, Alaska was a flop. And being drubbed by critics—37% with 82 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes—was unwarranted and nastier than a crosscheck to the face.

But, fear not, Mystery, Alaska is well worth a watch; and over time, it has garnered a devout following. That is no doubt due to its charming cast, who all feel like an actual team. You just can’t help, but root for them.

Now, sit back, high stick an Amber Alt-Style Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co., and keep your head up! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), ChumpzillaCapt. Cash and a special guest are skating the river to prep for our showdown with the Rags!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – A small town on the outskirts of greatness! (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – After a word from our brothers in beer at Hop Nation USA, we debate which Mystery player would be the best hang. (23:39)
  • The “Saturday Game” Trivia Challenge – The Double Turn Podcast wrestles the Goon, and then I challenge the field to trivia about the movie. (54:37)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week and next up: We finish “Hops and Heartthrob Flops” with the comic book disaster, RIPD! (1:07:50)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the recent cast reunion and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadioVurblAmazon Music, and more!

Thomas Kelly

Writer, Superman aficionado, lover of odd and underperforming sports teams, and co-host of the film adoring podcast, Hops and Box Office Flops