Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Written by Hombre Divertido

Invincible: A Recipe for Success.

Success in school used to be based on what our grandparents called the three R’s: Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and ‘Rithmatic. In the case of the new film Invincible(2006) starring Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear, and directed by Ericson Core, it’s three different R’s that lead to success.

Take some Rocky, sprinkle in some Rudy, add a pinch of The Rookie and give it to Disney to prepare it with class, and you get Invincible.

Yes, we’ve tasted this story many times, but let’s face it; pizza is simple, and it often tastes better reheated. Well, this story is simple, but when prepared with the right ingredients, it tastes oh so good and satisfying.

Sure, perhaps we’ve never heard of Vince Papale, the real-life, part-time bartender, part-time teacher, and full-time Philadelphia Eagles fan, who attends an open tryout, and ends up making the team, but we have heard the story of the “smaller than the rest of the guys” underdog who beats the odds, and becomes successful.

Disney has proven that they can tell inspirational sports stories well with Remember the Titans and not so well with Glory Road. Why the story is told well in Invincible is easy: this is more than a one-dimensional story about an underdog with heart trying to make it in the NFL. This is the story of everyman fulfilling a dream, the story of a city struggling through tough times, the story of a first-time head coach in the NFL, and most importantly, a story of relationships.

At the center of our story, is Papale, played with masterful subtleness by Wahlberg, who is growing into a fine actor. Papale is a down-on-his-luck guy, with a down-on-his-luck dad and down-on-their-luck friends, who gets an opportunity not only to help himself, but to inspire others as well. The key here is that writer Brad Gann and director Core give us just enough of the other stories to allow us to care, without allowing the story to sag like a fallen cake.

The only aspect of this film that does not work is the sound mixing. Though the score is excellent, too often the audience was turning and asking each other what the actor just said.

I have never been one for applauding at movies unless someone involved in the film is there, otherwise, whom are we doing it for: The projectionist? In this case, I could not help but join in with the rest of the theatre as they put their hands together for what is sure to be a new classic on TBS quite soon.

Recommendation: Yes, we think we know how this is going to taste before we put it in our mouths, but it will taste much better than you think.

See it at the theater, and then give the DVD to your family for Christmas instead of the fruitcake.