In the sumer of 1976, 30-year old Vince Papale is having a tough run of luck. He's been working as a supply teacher for two days a week but has just found out that his job has been eliminated because of budget cuts. His wife gives up on him saying he'll never amount to anything and asks for a divorce. He works as a bartender and plays football with his friends. When the the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil, announces that he will hold open tryouts for the team, Vince reluctantly decides to give a try. Based on a true story. Written by
In November of 2002, NFL Films showed Vince Papale's story on ESPN during Monday Night Football. It was part of a special to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the boxing movie Rocky (1976). The four minute piece about Vince captured the attention of Hollywood, and soon a film was in the works. See more »
The opening scene depicts snowy weather. The actual temperature at kickoff was 40 degrees, much too warm for snow. See more »
From the time I saw the first preview for "Invincible," I was very excited to see it. I loved "Remember the Titans," and this seemed to be that kind of movie: a sports film with a good cast that alters the mold and tries something new and interesting. Perhaps this is the reason that "Invincible" proved to be such a disappointment for me.
Mark Wahlberg stars in the film as Vince Papale, an underdog who rises from the streets of Philadelphia and becomes an Eagle. His performance is completely flat. Not only does he not try to give his character life, but he is not even likable. Sorry, Mark, but no Oscar nod for this one! As for his football story, it proves to be enormously dull. The sequences follow the usual Disney sports movie mold, never breaking free in a single area. Greg Kinnear, who is typically fantastic, struggles to give Coach Dick Vermielle some actual personality and character. He wants us to sympathize with him, but he comes off as simply pathetic. The lifeless football story never even comes off the ground. The final game scene is anti-climactic, involving Vince making an unimportant play that means nothing.
The romantic aspect of the film is even worse. Elizabeth Banks plays Vince's love interest, who he marries after the end of the film. She tries doing a New York accent for about five minutes, before abruptly switching to her normal voice. Her performance itself is bland and vapid, like the rest of the film.
Still, I understand that some people really like this film. I can honestly say that I didn't. If you're a huge sports fan and care little about bad acting and boring slow-motion shots, you'll probably like it. If you're looking for a good-quality film with an exciting plot, you'll hate it. Period.
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