Untimely Reviews of 2 star movies – Invincible

Some 2 star movies are really 3 stars movies. Some are really 1 star movies. Some are a travesty of lies.

On a lark, my wife and I decided to watch "Invincible". It was the kind of night when we really did not care what we watched so long as we both did not hate the concept of it. "Invincible" is one of those movies with an un-hate-able concept, the underdog surmounting all odds to succeed at sports. Neither of is a big fan of football, or as I like to think of it, "smear the ACL", but then again neither of us is a huge fan of interstellar wars and yet we both loved "Star Wars".

"Invicible" is a "true story" (more on that below) about football in the 1970s. I was only a wee boy in the 1970s, but from all accounts it was the worst decade ever. (Or at least the decade with the least hope for the future and the longest shirt collars.) Most of the actors in "Invinible" are your typical inner city working class types. They are supposed to sound Philadelphian but most sported the same accents when playing New Yorkers in NBC's short lived drama "The Black Donnelleys". The main character is Vince Papale, played by Mark Wahlberg. Movie Vince is a substitute teacher who played one year of football in high school but still regularly plays with this working class friends.  Movie Vince is only the size of Mark Wahlberg and works as a substitute teacher. They goad him into trying out for the lowest ranked NFL team of 1976, the Philadelphia Eagles. Quite and soft spoken, Movie Vince relents and attends an open try-out.

My wife and I saw this movie in two parts. When little man screams, the 18 hour intermission begins. This led us to have time to reflect upon this movie. The movie, by the way, is also full of scenes reflection. Movie Vince only tries out for the Eagles after a time of quiet reflection. Then during training he reflects some more. He breaks a date with a super-hot football loving woman after reflection and then reflects upon his decision. He sits and reflects all over Philadelphia, in his car, outside the bar, and while walking down the street. During the interim I got to thinking that this guy sure does a lot of nothing.

At the end of the film, moving Vince makes a couple of plays and the restores the hope of an entire fanbase. My wife and reflected on the hour and half that led to one play. Post reflection, we felt a little disappointed.

I thought about all that quiet time. Was the real Vince Papale so trepadacious? Precious little internet research reveals "Invincible" to be, in fact, a lie. Vince Papale was actually a 6'2", 200 pound minor league football player. Vince earned an impressive minor league record and was invited to a training session by Eagles coach Dick Vermeil. When Vince retired from football, he became a TV broadcaster and then a marketing director. Vince was not an inexperienced player, he probably jumped at the opportunity to move from the minors to the majors, and he probably wasn't soft-spoken. The whole premise of this movie is pretty much crap.

So if you sorta' true stores filled with shots of Mark Wahlberg sitting quietly while looking at his feet, "Invincible" is a sure bet!

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