The latest true-life sports film tells the story of Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a working class South Philly schmo who--with only a year of high school football under his belt--in the mid-'70s tried out for, and made, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Big question: Does "Invincible" have the same uplifting power as "Remember the Titans," "Miracle," "The Rookie" and "Glory Road"?
Catch it: To the tune of classic '70s music, "Invincible" stays low to the ground and tells its tale of one man's success through the lens of a neighborhood with nothing going for it but cheap beer and football.
Skip it: If you'd rather see former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil playing himself than the always likable, but not exactly sturdy Greg Kinnear trying to become him. The casting director fumbled that one.
Bottom line: "Invincible" does get a bit sappy at times, and the usual inaccuracies that come with an "inspired by a true story" movie can be a downer when you discover what's been embellished. (For example, Papale was actually invited to a private tryout with the team; "Invincible" presents him attending a tryout open to any average Joe.) But the film features a fun performance from Elizabeth Banks as the new, Giants-fan woman in Vince's life after his wife leaves him, and the movie reminds us that from the bitter rivalries to the torn jerseys worn in pickup games to the dreams of gridiron glory, sports teams belong to the fans.
Bonus: "Invincible" was an obvious title for a story about a guy named Vince, but try to figure out what the movie would have been called if Papale's first name were Seymour!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Ericson Core; screenplay by Brad Gann; cinematography by Core; edited by Jerry Greenberg; production design by Sarah Knowles; music by Mark Isham; produced by Gordon Gray, Mark Ciardi and Ken Mok. A Walt Disney Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:39. MPAA rating: PG (for sports action and some mild language).
Vince Papale - Mark Wahlberg
Dick Vermeil - Greg Kinnear
Janet - Elizabeth Banks
Frank Papale - Kevin Conway
Tommy - Kirk AcevedoCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun