The story of the misfit outsider who rises through the ranks of a professional sport to enjoy inexplicable success has been stamped into celluloid more times than most folks can remember. INVINCIBLE tells the tale of bartender Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a down-on-his-luck former teacher who decides to answer an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles. It doesn't take a genius to work out what happens next, but the twist here is that Vince Papale is a real person, and the story is based on his eyebrow-raising memoir of the same name.
Papale's call-up to the Eagles occurred in 1976, so the flowery fashions and long flowing locks worn by both men and women of the era are all immaculately replicated by director Ericson Core's carefully styled cast. When Eagles coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) throws his last, desperate roll of the dice and recruits Papale, he faces open hostility from his team of professionals. Papale also has to catch a few jibes at his expense, especially as he's a little old to be a professional football player. As the ill-fitting future star jostles with his teammates and strives to prove himself in the team, a host of '70s hits rip through the soundtrack, and subplots about a jealous friend (Dov Davidoff) and a lover (Elizabeth Banks) are utilized to lure in non-sports fans. Wahlberg is well cast, drawing on his experience in the similarly themed ROCK STAR, and once again proving his chops as a leading man. INVINCIBLE is a Disney film and follows firmly in the footsteps the company has imprinted upon the movie industry, with its wholesome tale closely resembling two other flicks the company has produced--REMEMBER THE TITANS and THE ROOKIE.
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