Oct 152006

Invincible.jpgFrom the producers of “The Rookie”, this inspiring sports movie will star Mark Wahlberg as a Philadelphia Eagles fan who has just lost his wife and his teaching job. He decides one day to show up for an open tryout for his favorite NFL team, only to see his wildest dreams come true.

Directed by
Ericson Core

Drama, Sport

Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway, Michael Rispoli, Kirk Acevedo, Dov Davidoff, Michael Kelly, Sal Darigo, Nicoye Banks, Turron Kofi Alleyne, Stink Fisher, Michael Mulheren, Michael Nouri, Jack Kehler

*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

Never underestimate the power of a good story, decent acting and a great soundtrack. That’s what Disney’s “Invincible,” starring Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear, brings to viewers.

“Invincible” is the biographical tale of down-on-his-luck Vince Papale (Wahlberg), who is a pretty fair street football player in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s. He is also a substitute teacher, but when he loses that gig, is forced to tend bar part-time.

Meanwhile, his team, the NFL Eagles – mired in several seasons of last-place finishes (making the franchise the joke of the NFC East) – hires a new head coach, Dick Vermeil (Kinnear), who decides to hold an open tryout for players. It’s looked upon as a joke, and hundreds of untalented and out-of-shape clowns show up at Veteran’s Stadium for the event, even Vince (who never played college ball and is sure he is not good enough to get a second look). On a fluke, however, he is the only walk-on allowed to go to training camp.

Meanwhile, he becomes sort of a neighborhood celebrity, and develops a sweet love affair with his boss’ cousin, Janet (Elizabeth Banks), a die-hard New York Giants fan.

He impresses Vermeil enough to make it down to the final cut, but what happens after that, you’ll have to find out yourself.

Wahlberg might be a tad bit small for an NFL player (he’s much smaller than the real Papale), but he is appropriately well-built; and his low-key performance gives real pathos to his character.

Lastly, since the story takes place in 1975 (the year my old favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, won the NFC East), you would expect the soundtrack to blast some high quality tunes. In this respect, the film does not disappoint. Tunes from The Who, Jim Croce, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Canned Heat, Edgar Winter Group, Grand Funk Railroad, Rod Stewart, Elvin Bishop, Rare Earth and others, highlights this movie-going experience.

A bit sappy, at times, but overall, a nice little biopic that is one of the more inspiring movies of 2006.

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