We went to see Invincible today. Now, I'm no NFL fanatic, and I'm certainly no Philadelphia Eagles fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
The year is 1976. The Eagles suck hard. They've just finished a horrifically bad season and a new head coach, Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear), is brought in to turn the team around.
This movie is the based-around-the-true-story story of Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a no-hope, no-shot, 30-year old bartender who turned up to an open try-out and impressed the head coach enough to be invited back to training camp.
Papale showed enough skill and determination that Vermeil gave him a shot in the regular team, and for three seasons, Papale was considered by many to be the heart of the team.
The movie cleverly recreates the actual football games going on in the season in question and the plays are (apparently) fairly well recreated. Some licence has, apparently, been taken with Papale's background and his performance, but Eagle's fans are satisfied with the result.
But more important than that, the movie works. Mrs Doombreed is, as I've mentioned, a Cowboys' fan, and - for those not in the know, the Cowboys are in the same division as the Eagles, and this is a huge rivalry - even she was pulling for Papale.
The movie, as its backdrop, shows how bad things were in Philadelphia at the time and, given that the Eagles were the only thing most people had going for them, why the fans were so angry at their team's performance.
It's a classic "feel-good" movie. It's the story of the underdog makes good, the losers fight back, the people nobody thought could succeed going out and succeeding.
I liked it. I really did.
Doombreed rating: * * * *