Invincible uses standard Disney format to score touchdown

The movie Invincible is your standard Disney sports movie that uses the underdog role to stir up emotion, but just like other Disney sports movies, it’s a success. Following the real life story of Vince Papale, a walk-on member of the Philadelphia Eagles who played special teams for the team in the ’70s, the movie tugs on your emotions and really produces a winner. Mark Wahlberg plays the part of Papale, a 30-year-old part-time bartender and substitute teacher who struggles to make ends meat and sees his wife leave him. To make things worse, his hometown Eagles are playing horribly and have to hire a brand new head coach. When the new coach has an open tryout, Papale’s bar pals encourage him to tryout for the team even though he played only a year of football in high school and has no college experience. This is where the second main character in the story comes in, Coach Dick Vermeil. Many people may remember that Vermeil won the Super Bowl a few of years ago with the St. Louis Rams before retiring this year after coaching the Kansas City Chiefs for the past couple of seasons. Vermeil is played by Greg Kinnear of As Good as It Gets fame. The movie follows Vermeil’s struggles of turning around a down-trodden franchise and in being a first-time NFL coach coming straight out of the college ranks at UCLA. Vermeil and Papale are not the only people struggling with life in the film; Disney does a good job of showing the hard times Philadelphians are going through with the job strikes of the ’70s. This leads to Papale becoming the People’s Champion as he becomes the only man to make the team from Vermeil’s open tryout. The story doesn’t end there-Papale still has to win over his teammates, the rest of the coaching staff, and himself. While his friends, family, and pretty much the whole city of Philadelphia believe in him, Papale still has a hard time believing in his capabilities as he reminds himself that he’s going out there against Roger Staubach and other NFL greats. The movie follows the same script of Remember the Titans and Glory Road and is made by the producer of The Rookie. Kinnear nails the role of the emotional Coach Vermeil, while Wahlberg is very convincing in the part of Papale even though at 5’8″ he is much smaller than the real life Papale, listed at 6’2″ and 195 lbs. Invincible is a great film for moviegoers of all ages and because most Disney sports films will come close to pulling a tear or two out of viewers.