The use of flashbacks really impacts the ability to focus. While the entire story is told with this tactic, there are also a few flashbacks within the flashback that sidetrack from the overall arc. While a trip to Louisiana allows us to momentarily experience the intolerance the 92nd felt, it does little for story progression and could have been told in a crisper and more focused manner. The other flashback is potent, but feels tacked on and diverts from the flow of the film.
The performances are quite good. Michael Ealy, who some might remember from the Showtime series Sleeper Cell, is the standout as Bishop. Alonso does a splendid job as the core of the piece, Hector, and his character adds an appealing dynamic. As love interest Renata, Italian actress Valentina Cervi provides the perfect quantity of fiery sexual tension.
Lee’s work with the battle sequences is good, but his affinity for music-driven melodrama dampens the bulk of the movie. Scenes feel mislaid or out of order, as though the film’s editor was snoozing on the job. While Lee tries to cover various perspectives in regards to the war, he ends up crowding the movie with scenes and flashbacks that baffle and fail to enchant.
Sadly, Miracle at St. Anna is an awfully average effort from a generally dependable director. It is one of his weakest motion pictures in years and would have been better served as a miniseries, which is a system Lee excels at. As a motion picture, it feels congested and exceedingly pushy.
The standard DVD features the motion picture in widescreen (2.35:1) presentation enhanced for 16x9 televisions and Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound. There are no bonus features.