INVINCIBLE

REVIEW BY DAVE SMITH

 

Yes...as one critic put it...this film is shamelessly rigged for cheers, but wasn't "Rudy?" Wasn't "Hoosiers?" How about rigged for cheers and tears...like "Pride of the Yankees?" Please, that's what most sports films are all about. They are supposed to be inspirational so let's not berate them for catering to our emotions. "Invincible" tries to be a "feel good" movie and in that respect it succeeds. Sure there are embellishments by the screenwriter. The real Vince Papale (played very well by Mark Wahlberg) had a secure job as a full time teacher. He wasn't fired as the movie suggests. He also played wide-receiver on a semi-pro team which is where Dick Vermeil (played not quite so well by Greg Kinnear) became interested in him.

The director and screenwriter also invented a girlfriend who happens to be a Giants fan and who knows as much about sports as Vince. Not a likely scenario, but it's possible. As this story goes, Vince is the star of a sandlot football team. These are real macho guys who wear no equipment and love to play in the rain and mud. When Dick Vermeil comes to coach the Philadelphia Eagles and announces there will be "open try-outs," all of Vince's buddies urge him to go. Reluctantly he decides to give it a try. Naturally he is the best and fastest guy in a group of stumbling, bumbling, overweight, and most un-athletic guys the casting director could find. When it is announced Vince has made the team, cheers resound throughout the blue collar neighborhood.

Do we need to tell you about the big finish? I think not. At the end of the film we get to see the real Vince Papale and even see him in action on the playing field. "Invincible" is a nice little movie. Just don't go expecting too much.

 

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