Saturday, January 5, 2008

movie review: "Invincible"

I first watched Invincible this time last year on the airplane home from Venice. It was a delight to see the film moments after learning that, miraculously, my beloved Chiefs made the playoffs. I'm a sucker for sappy underdog sports movies, Mark Wahlberg and Dick Vermeil, and I wasn't disappointed. I was most impressed with Greg Kinnear's spot-on portrayal of Dick Vermeil. I'm not a huge fan of Kinnear normally, but his mastery of Vermeil's top lip movements was incredible.

After receiving the dvd for Christmas, I watched Invincible again. It's a good movie, but it was not as great as I recall it. Most of the film is spent building the story of Papale's unlikely trying out for the Eagles. We all know he makes the team, either from hearing the story before or the common sense that there wouldn't be a movie otherwise. While the drama and suspense of this rise to fame were riveting and suspenseful the first viewing, I found the plot to drag more this viewing. The last fifteen minutes of the film are still amazing, and I still cried.

The dvd feature mini-documentary of the actual Vince Papale was fun to watch. He's an amazing man with an amazing story who's living a pretty normal life these days.

Invincible definitely deserves a viewing, especially if you're a football fan. I may not watch it every year, but I'll pull it off the shelf to rewatch at least once every three years.

2.5 stars (out of 4) - liked it a lot

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