Rated: PG for violence.
Genre: Biopic Sports Drama Romance
Directed By: Ericson Core
Running Time: 1:48
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/02/06
DVD Features:
Not Announced


For all the slack I give this, “Invincible” can tend to be very compelling in fleeting instances. The struggles for Vince to get through the training and the ragging from other teammates is interesting to watch, and the inevitable climax where Vince has to show everyone he’s an honest to goodness player is entertaining. His struggles to show off his skills, and prove to his team he can cut it tend to be very exciting. And if you’re not pumping your fists rooting for Vince in the final game, then you’re made of stone.

I wonder how many more of these inspirational sports films we have to sit through in 2006. I mean, all this year we’ve had nothing but inspirational sports films (gee, I can’t wait for “Gridiron Gang”) and talking creature flicks, and it’s sickening. Everyone and their mothers are making one, and Mark Wahlberg in “Invincible” can now be counted in that repertoire. Wahlberg is making a small habit of starring in “average schmuck becomes big person” films. Average Joe becomes big porn star, Average Joe becomes big rock star, and now Average Joe becomes big football star.

Not hard to believe from a man who currently lives the Average white rapper becomes big actor tale. Based on a true story (aren’t they all?), “Invincible” much like its predecessors “The Rookie” and “Rudy” is the underdog tale of Vincent Papale, a blue collared Joe looking to tryout for the Eagles when they hold open tryouts. When he makes the team, he now has to prove himself as a player. Sad fact is, “Invincible” is pretty much your stock sports film. Friends of our character spout trite one-liners about giving it your all, there are the players insulting Vince, everyone saying he can’t do it, and eventually there’s the climax where he manages to shine and proves himself to everyone, it’s just all basically routine.

Hollywood’s proclivity for releasing one rah rah Americana sports film after the other this year has really become an exhausting marketing gimmick. “Invincible” could be saved by its performances, but once again we’re brought down into sheer monotony by its cast from Greg Kinnear who delivers the same old chestnuts we’ve heard in every other of these films, to Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg from his wooden acting to naturally bored disposition makes Vincent a one-dimensional cardboard cut out.

Vincent has to, and should be the most interesting thing on the screen, but Wahlberg’s portrayal as a cliché with almost no dialogue makes him hard to root for. And then Core elicits about as much devices for his film as he possibly can; slow motion in every possible chance, inspirational trumpeting scores and a town rooting for their home hero. It’s all so utterly drab and rehashed.

I don’t know, I’m willing to bet “The Rookie” was played with much more realism and less corn. And in spite of Bank's eternal appeal, and occasional entertaining moments, “Invincible” is still just another trite dose of inspirational malarkey with no life or charisma to it. It’s dull, routine, and like Wahlberg’s previous underdog tale: bland.

  • The title "Invincible" is a play on the name of Vince Papale. Vince, Invincible, corny, no?
  • Exec produced by Nikki Reed (Thirteen); who knew she was getting into producing?
  • The real Vincent Papale is actually much larger than Wahlberg.
  • The boy running in the street with the makeshift number 83 jersey is Vince Papale's
    real son.



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