In the sumer of 1976, 30-year old Vince Papale is having a tough run of luck. He's been working as a substitute 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
The stadium that was used to depict the Eagles 1976 home of Veteran's Stadium was in fact the previous Eagles home stadium from 1958-1970, Franklin Field. Veteran's Stadium had been imploded in 2004 prior to the movie's production. While the shots of the exterior were CGI, the interior shots were filmed at Franklin Field. It can be recognized by the jogging track surrounding the field and bench seating rather than individual seats like at Veteran Stadium. See more »
One of the shots in the opening of the film shows the rusted hull of the retired ocean liner S.S. UNITED STATES, which is currently moored in Philadelphia. However, in 1976 the UNITED STATES was at Norfolk, VA; she did not come to Philadelphia until 1996. See more »
Even if you're down there for an hour, you're down there.
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Somewhat loosely based on a true story, INVINCIBLE is your standard root-for-the-underdog sports movie, nothing more, nothing less. Mark Wahlberg is Vince Papale, a beefy touch football player/bartender who struts his stuff at an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles. Overcoming tremendous odds, Papale cracks the roster after earning the faith of rookie coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear).
INVINCIBLE probably would have been better as a less family-friendly film. Everything happens so cleanly in this Disney pic that it loses some of its realism and credibility. The audience may also feel cheated given the extreme liberties the writers took with the Papale story, including a complete disregard for his pro pigskin experience, fabricating an open-to-the-public tryout and the invention of a "you won't amount to anything" note from Papale's former partner. No bio pic is 100 per cent truthful, but this is going a bit too far.
While there is a certain charm and inspirational underpinning to INVINCIBLE, it can't hold a handle to many of the other entries of the same genre. It's one of those movies that can be summed up with four words: good but never great. The performances are good but never great. The direction is good but never great. The list goes on. Junior high-aged kids will probably appreciate this one the most.
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