“Invincible” was directed by Ericson Core and is based on the real life story of Vince Papale, a 30 year old bar tender who played in NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 70s. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway, Michael Kelley, Kirk Acevado, Michael Rispoli and Paige Turco. According to Papale himself, the film did change of few things of his story however did not stray from the overall storyline.
In the final game of the 1975 season, the Philadelphia Eagles lost their last home game to the Cincinnati Bengals bringing their record to an abysmal 3-11. The following summer, a substitute teacher and part time bar tender, Vince Papale (Wahlberg) stops to play a pick up game with his longtime friends, Pete (Kelley), Tommy (Acevado) and Max (Rispoli). Meanwhile, the Eagles’ owner names Dick Vermil (Kinnear) as their new head coach. Vermil makes an announcement that the Eagles will hosting open tryouts that weekend. All are welcome no matter their experience or background. Vince, who was recently fired from his teaching job is then left by his wife Sharon. With no options left and the city suffering from a workforce strike that could see hundreds lose their jobs, Vince goes to the tryout. In a true underdog story, Vince shows the Eagles some true grit and unbelievable heart for the his team and hometown leading to the beginning of the ‘76 season.
Disney is not really known for live action film but have done other sports dramas based on true stories such as “Remember the Titans”, “Miracle” & “Glory Road”. This film was no different. Great performances from Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear. The storyline is a bit cliche however it does have a nice fluidity that blends a solid story arch with great performances. The film really does capture the look and feel of the 70s in both the NFL and Philadelphia and becomes a character of its own. Although there are differences between the movie and the story, it still delivers and fires on all cylinders. Solid story, great look and one and a strong lead performance, to me, this one of Disney’s most underrated sports dramas.
After the film, Mark Wahlberg continued his storied career with more hit films such as “Shooter”, “We Own The Night”, “The Fighter” and his Oscar nominated performance in “The Departed”. He also starred in a string of real life stories playing actual people such as “Deepwater Horizon”, “Lone Survivor” & “Patriots Day”. Greg Kinnear went to do more films like “Green Zone”, “Ghost Town”, “Movie 43” and “Stuck In Love”. Ericson Core went on to direct the 2015 remake of “Point Break”.