Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of the â€œInspirational Based-on-a-True-Story Sports Dramasâ€, honestly. Theyâ€™re usually pretty formulaic from beginning to end, and Invincible is no exception to the rule. Still, Iâ€™m a guy who writes 99% of his reviews about Slasher flicks, and itâ€™s hard to get more formulaic than that, so I went into this movie doing my best impression of an open mind. And, really, for what it was, Invincible was rather good.
In South Philly, 1976, the Eaglesâ€™ new coach, Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear), held open team try-outs for anybody who felt they had what it took to be an NFL player. A 30 yeard-old down-on-his-luck bartender with no college football experience, Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), attended the try-outs and proved to be the only contender Coach Vermeil would select to go to Eagles training camp. Older and less experienced than all the other players gunning for a spot on the team, Papale would prove to be a valuable asset to the Eagles through shear heart and force of will.
Yeah, it sounds like any other inspirational sports movie, like â€œthe Rookieâ€, â€œMiracleâ€ or â€œWithout Limitsâ€, and there honestly isnâ€™t much setting it apart from those aforementioned titles. Yet, considering the genre, there honestly isnâ€™t anything wrong with the movie. If you like football and sports movies then thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™ll enjoy Invincible.
During the â€œbig gameâ€ against the Giants at the filmâ€™s finale, they pulled a â€œWithout Limitsâ€, having people watch the game on TV in-between cuts of Mark Wahlberg playing on the field. Just like in â€œWithout Limitsâ€, the footage they showed on the television was the actual archived game footage. Iâ€™ve always liked that effect and itâ€™s a nice nod of respect to the real athletes the movie was based on. Also, Greg Kinnear played a spot-on Dick Vermeil. Itâ€™s almost scary how much he resembles the man both in appearance and presence.
So Invincible was formulaic and predictable, yet thatâ€™s what you expect from these sorts of movies and it delivered everything it advertised. Canâ€™t say it really went wrong anywhere. It gets a B-. Itâ€™s not my kind of movie but Iâ€™m sure the people within its target audience will enjoy it.