Release Date: August 25th, 2006 by Walt Disney Pictures.
The Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway, Michael Rispoli, Kirk Acevedo, Dov Davidoff, Michael Kelly, Sal Darigo, Nicoye Banks, Turron Kofi Alleyne, Michael Nouri.
Directed by Ericson Core.
BASIC PREMISE: In 1976, Vince Papale (Wahlberg), a bartender, becomes famous as a football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. Based on a true story.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Invincible follows the typical formula of most football movies, yet still manages to be immensely entertaining. Mark Wahlberg plays Vince Papale, 30-year-old a bartender from a poor neighborhood who fails to make ends meet. His wife divorces him and leaves behind a note saying that he’s worth nothing. Throughout the rest of the film, Papale sets out to prove that note wrong by trying out for the NFL. Dick Vermeil (Kinnear), his coach, firmly believes in him even though he’s the underdog who didn’t even play football in college. The well-written screenplay by Brad Gann allows for plenty of character development so that you actually care about Vince. Back at home, Vince has a bunch of friends and coworkers who cheer him on including Max (Rispoli), Tommy (Acevedo), Pete (Kelly) and his father (Conway). What makes this film so engaging is that it magically combines all the right elements such as drama, comedy and football action. It even has some romance when Vince meets a fellow bartender named Janet, played by the beautiful Elizabeth Banks. Director Ericson Core includes great cinematography, set design and costume design which effectively reflect the 1970’s. Even the soundtrack selections fit perfectly with the era to give an even more authentic feel. The real surprise here, though, is that Mark Wahlberg manages to make Vince so appealing. You’ll be rooting for him to win from the very beginning and join the cheers of the crowd during the final, exciting scenes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The basic message is that it takes a big risk and a lot of courage to achieve your dreams without giving up while always believing in yourself—sounds a bit corny, but there’s plenty of truth to it. Ultimately, Invincible will lift your spirits as you cheer for the underdog to lead his team toward victory and, concurrently, to win over the love of his life, Janet.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Immensely entertaining and uplifting. Mark Wahlberg is in top form.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "I" Menu