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Invincible
DVD disk
Jan 16, 2007 By: Quigles
Invincible order
Director:
Ericson Core

Actors:
Mark Wahlberg
Greg Kinnear
Elizabeth Banks

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A 30-year-old bartender from Philly fights his way to become one of the NFL's most unlikely rookies.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Whatever your first instincts were regarding INVINCIBLE, follow them. It's exactly the movie you expect it to be; not particularly great, but simple and enjoyable in that "you've-already-seen-it" kinda way. There are no surprises, and I doubt people will expect there to be. I mean, c'mon - this is Disney. This is a sports film from Disney. This is a sports film from Disney based on a true story. This is a sports film from Disney based on a true story about an underdog. How surprising can you really get regarding a formula that's been done a thousand plus one times?

Mark Wahlberg is passable in the lead, but never really does anything to blow away or move the audience. Greg Kinnear is the same, which is disappointing considering how much he can usually bring to even the smallest of roles. As far as filmmaking goes, INVINCIBLE is solid... but once again, we're back to that "originality" issue. As well made as it is, it still does nothing to distinguish itself from other standard genre pics (unlike, say, REMEMBER THE TITANS, which set the bar awfully high).

But as formulaic as the film is, that certainly didn't stop me from getting excited whenever Papale (Whalberg's character) would overcome one of his many goals. It's all very rousing stuff, and even though it's executed in such a way that makes it really obvious what's coming (not that it wouldn't be otherwise), you can't help but be happy when it does. That said, in a genre where the biggest goals are what determine how powerful a movie will usually feel, INVINCIBLE has the problem of feeling a bit too small by comparison. Had some of the movie's energy been focused on making you give two shits about the actual team going under, then maybe we'd have a film worthy of genuine interest. Instead, the only person that matters is Papale, and it's his goals that need to be overcome - not the team's. As such, the finale ends up being somewhat underwhelming... but no more so than the film itself.
THE EXTRAS
The special features are incredibly limited, but what's here is worth checking out.

Audio Commentary (with Vince Papale, producer Mark Cirardi, and writer Brad Gann): The focus here is of course Papale, who is a lot different than Whalberg portrayed him. A very interesting, fun listen.

Audio Commentary (with director Ericson Core and editor Jerry Greenberg): This track is less entertaining than the last, but it's certainly more informative. Since a making-of featurette isn't present on the DVD, this is where you should go to find out the dirty details.

Becoming Invincible: The Story of Vince Papale (25:38): This documentary is entertaining and energetic, going as in-depth as possible with a short run time. It also has plenty of interviews with the real-life counterparts, such as Vince Papale and Dick Vermeil.

There are also 8 Sneak Peeks for others films and DVDs.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Off the top of my head, it's very easy to list sport pics not unlike INVINCIBLE...

Hoosiers
Rudy
Remember the Titans
The Rookie
Miracle
Friday Night Lights
Coach Carter
Glory Road

There are probably countless others I'm missing, but that doesn't matter. Point is, INVINCIBLE is a movie that brings nothing new to the table. And really, you shouldn't expect it to. In a genre that just keeps getting milked, all you can really ask for is a production that is competently made and loaded with some nice sports scenes (as well as a number of other obligatory subplots, like love stories or family problems). In this respect, INVINCIBLE delivers just fine.
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