Review of "Invincible"
Boring. Corny. Predictable.
Those are all words that I would NOT use to describe this movie. I left the theater yesterday thinking that it was the best sports movie I've ever seen, but I think that I was just caught up in the emotion and dramatic portrayal of our Birds on the silver screen. Having slept on it, however I still think it's one of the best sports movies I've seen; I will admit that it probably has something to do with the fact that it was about the Birds and their turnaround in the mid-70s, but just a little. It was a great movie.
First, I should mention that a potential knock on the film is that the basic plot is seemingly well-worn territory: an underdog athlete from South Philly rises above his situation and captures the city's imagination....it was called "Rocky" and was made 30 years ago. However, I don't put a lot of weight on that analogy because the majority of this story is true to life and Papale's accomplishments are not blown out of proportion like Rocky's were - the movie doesn't stray from focusing just on the fact that Papale was able to walk on to an NFL team. That's an accomplishment in and of itself, but one to which we can still relate.
The director did a great job portraying South Philly and the relationship we have with the Eagles - the overriding theme was that however bad it gets in life or on the field, the people in this city use the team as a crutch and as a way to identify themselves, from generation to generation. This is very true. The cinematography of the game action was fantastic, especially the first game of the regular season against Dallas. Marky Mark was actually believable as a football player and also didn't portray Papale as only the "good guy with a heart of gold" but also as a guy with problems, which apparently was the case with Papale...well, with anyone I guess. The film nailed a few other important qualities, which for reasons I don't understand often seem to be either overlooked or just done poorly in movies: the soundtrack, the dialogue and the supporting cast. From the opening song by Jim Croce to the end, the Soundtrack was perfect from the standpoint of capturing the 1970s as well as the emotional points in the movie. The dialogue was well thought out and not corny, which it usually is in feel-good movies like this. The cast was great too - Elizabeth Banks and Vince's group of friends all had good roles that didn't take away from his story.
The only knock I have on the movie was that it was a little too short - I was hoping to see more regular season games portrayed, but I guess they either were ending on a high note before wearing out the subject matter (which is a good thing) or they were saving people who brought children (which there were a lot in the showing I went to). In any case, they left me wanting more at the end.
So, the words I would use to describe this movie are: inspiring, emotional, and "pre-ordered" (for my DVD collection).