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  • Brad LelandBrian Presley...
  • Action & AdventureDrama
  • Brian Presley
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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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The Great Alaskan Race: Cracked Ice

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True stories about human bravery and victories can be very captivating, but the pressure of depicting a true story and doing it justice is not easy. Will The Great Alaskan Race survive the pressure?

The Great Alaskan Race tells the true story of a group of mushers who had to travel hundreds of miles with only their sled dogs to get an antitoxin that would stop the spread of a major epidemic in a small isolated town in Alaska.

The feature starts with a background anecdote about Leonhard Seppala (Brian Presley,  who left his home and became a member of a native tribe in Alaska. As the film begins, it gives a vibe of a new take on Pocahontas in the snow, but with a forced and over-the-top narration.

By the time the film gets to Seppala’s journey, the film is already more than halfway through. Until that point, it mainly just lingers and wastes its time with the focus on worried people and officials from the town, which does not need much emphasis, as it seems to be a natural given. When the movie does get to the journey, the audience is disappointed by how faint the climax of the film is.  The story in itself is fascinating, as the journey into the harsh conditions with only the sled dogs should be inspiring, but instead, the film fails to provide any suspense for an audience that has been waiting more than forty minutes for a spark.

The structure of the plot is flawed and messy, due to the many different aspects crammed into the film; Seppala’s relationship with his wife, the history and bond between him and his dogs, and the doctor and nurse’s heroic actions. Thus, the feature was not able to execute the journey (its main element) entertainingly.

The biggest disappointment of all was how the film’s poster centred on a husky, making it seem like the film is all about a dog. The reality is that the audience barely gets to see the dog, who only has a bit-part focusing on the bond between him and his owner.

Brian Presley directed, produced, and starred in The Great Alaskan Race, and unfortunately, he did not do a very good job in either of his roles.

The Great Alaskan Race had great potential, but lost its way through the mess.

Like This? Try

White Fang (1991), and White Fang (2018).

360 Tip

In February 2020 a group of 15 adventurers in Alaska will be traveling along this historic trail and retracing history on the Serum Run Expedition traveling from Nenana to Nome.

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