'Miracle Mile' by Steve De Jarnatt Review: The reality of nuclear warfare

Micrale Mile.jpg

Directed and written by Steve De Jarnatt, Miracle Mile is a disaster film like none other. Filmed on 35mm film and set in the late 80's Los Angeles, it holds a gritty aesthetic with most of its narrative unfolding in the night and early morning. The atmospheric tones make this film beautiful, the neon found in the glowing lights of the diner, the streets covered in green from the lights that sit overhead.

As is the case with disaster films, our protagonist is introduced in a day of peace. Arranging a date with a women that works in the diner on the Mircale Mile street. Missing their arranged date, he zooms over to the diner in hope that she's still waiting for him. She isn't. Instead, he converses with the strange inhabitants of the diner and its workers, of which are there at 4 in the morning.

He decides to attempt to contact her with the payphone next to the diner but fails. The phone then begins to ring, and he answers. He's greeted with a frantic voice claiming to be in the military and that nuclear war is breaking out; they have 50 minutes until they fire.

What ensues is a marvellous piece of storytelling in which we see how one man, with no evidence, causes utter chaos that only worsens as time passes and word of it spreads. Our protagonist, however, is fixated on finding his love before evacuating himself. The majority of the film takes place on this one street.Watching as chaos begins to unfold, we see the protagonist taking drastic measures, and the empty streets alongside constant ambience contributes in giving off a comfortable, content feeling, but also a feeling that something really isn't right.

This film really flourishes with its use of colour. Its art direction combined with the beauty of 35mm film, which shows Los Angeles at night as some hellish wasteland, this is only amplified when the chaos really does begin to ensue, and the colours begin to shift alongside the rising of the sun. The darkness disappears and the street becomes filled with orange, the tensions are raised as the flames and explosions from cars and buildings begin. The reality sets in, and panic takes reign.

The film takes into consideration the constant fear of modern life alongside the growing tensions of nations with large nuclear arsenals. The very real threat that nuclear war could occur at any moment and threaten to wipe out millions with such little time to prepare and escape from its blast. Miracle Mile takes this and shows the fragility of such news of an event in such a peaceful, lonesome location. For our protagonist, it shows how we overlook the simple parts of our lives, only to realise what's most important when it might just be too late. How utterly destructive such weapons are and how they cut short the lives of so many innocents.

Comments 8

This sounds like a special movie; thanks @namiks, I will put it on top of my watchlist!

23.09.2019 15:40

Good lord, that ending though...right in the feels.

23.09.2019 21:32

I want to write a comment that mentions what happens but I also don't want to spoil too much for others reading!

That ending is great, though. It was originally going to be different, too! I wish there were more like it, really. Other disaster films just aren't the same.

I was even reading earlier that this was going to be a Twilight Zone episode, imagine that! The general concept is so great and simple.

23.09.2019 21:37

One of my favorite films of the 80s. Would you believe I was one of the 6 people in the US who saw it when it first came out in the theater? It would probably be better known but talk about bad timing -- the Soviet Union collapsed only a few months after it debuted, and suddenly, nobody was afraid of nuclear war anymore.

26.09.2019 22:21


I need to check this one out. Sounds like Phonebooth but then more fun, with a post apocalyptic theme and my kind of style and look ( retro / 80s )

24.09.2019 20:42

It's a great film, Vince.

26.09.2019 22:22

Sup Dork?!? Enjoy the Upvote!!! Keep up with the dorky content for more love!!!

25.09.2019 02:36

Hello @namiks, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

27.09.2019 13:52