Combining a solid soundtrack and heartfelt performances from Mark Wahlberg [Rockstar, Boogey Nights] and Greg Kinnear [Someone Like You, As Good As It Gets], “Invincible” is this generations version of “Rocky,” telling the remarkable story of former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale with realism, energy and compassion.
Produced by Mark Ciardi [Miracle, The Rookie], “Invincible” does a wonderful job of depicting the downtrodden Philadelphia area during the 1970’s, combining dark and dirty city landscapes and muddy bar scenes and factories, that capture the desperation of Papale and the people around him that are anxiously awaiting for a hero to get them through tough times.
Playing the reluctant hero is Wahlberg, who many will notice has bulked up considerably for this part and fits the role of the rough, but caring Papale to a T. Trying desperately to make something of his life after his wife leaves him, the substitute teacher/ bar tender tries to make the team he grew up rooting for after new coach, Dick Vermeil [played by Kinnear] announces open tryouts.
Paralleling each other the entire film, Papale and Vermeil both have something to prove and lean on one another to accomplish their goals, inducing many memorable moments that are sure to have football fans and movie-goers alike on the edge of their seats. In addition to Wahlberg and Kinnear’s solid performances, Elizabeth Banks and Kevin Conway round out the acting in this film extremely well, providing comedy and sincerity with great performances as Papale’s girlfriend and father.
While the cinematography and acting in “Invincible” is something to behold, the musical score adds depth and familiarity to a film that was already amazing. The opening scene of the film fuses Jim Croce’s “I Got A Name” with the dark, dismal streets of Philadelphia, making it one of the best introductions to any movie in quite some time. Doby Gray, Ted Nugent, Grand Funk Railroad and Rod Stewart all make appearances on the soundtrack as well, making the music in the film just as strong as the cinematography and acting.
Overall, “Invincible” is a sure-fire hit. Disney may not be able to cut the mustard with their animated pictures anymore without the help of Pixar, but with this film, they have proven once again that they’re slowly becoming the cat’s meow as far as sports-dramas are concerned.