Invincible (DVD)

It mightn’t completely live up to its title – a large swarm of critics and audiences didn’t seem to agree with it; let alone the film missing out on a theatrical release in some territories – but the new warm-and-fuzzy Mark Wahlberg venture could still knock down a couple of wooden doors without turning the knob first.


Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway

It mightn’t completely live up to its title – a large swarm of critics and audiences didn’t seem to agree with it; let alone the film missing out on a theatrical release in some territories – but the new warm-and-fuzzy Mark Wahlberg venture could still knock down a couple of wooden doors without turning the knob first.

“Invincible” is the true story of a 70s athlete who battled the odds – as they do – to become quite the popular player – as they do.

Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) is a thirty-something bartender who answers an open tryout call for the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s had no football experience, so he doesn’t expect to get in… especially as it’s revealed that the try-out call was merely a publicity stunt.

Thing is, the coach (Greg Kinnear) takes a shine to Papale – so decides to take him on. It’s then up to Papale to prove the media and public – convinced he’s a publicity-created no hoper – that he’s more than a PR tool.

“People don’t want heart”, says one character in the film. “They want wins”.

And therein lies the biggest problem of the film. There’s a large chunk of heart missing from the movie. Unlike say, the similarly themed “Rudy”, you just don’t feel as connected to the lead character as the filmmakers most likely would’ve liked. At the same time though, the sports sequences – the ‘wins’ in this case – are both enthralling and amazingly choreographed.

What saves the film from being a wholly clichéd event – a lot of the story is fairly formulaic, but all these films are to an extent – is Wahlberg. This guy has been rockin’ the house lately. His performance isn’t quite of the calibre of say the turn he gave us in “The Departed”, but he’s still damn good in it. You can’t take your eyes off this guy. He’s one of today’s most interesting performers. And yes, you mightn’t ‘feel’ as much for the character’s plight as you’d like – but you still ‘know’ the character by mid-way, and that’s still saying a heck of a lot.

Not quite an even playing ground, but “Invincible” is still an entertaining family-friendly piece that helps cement the artist formerly known as Marky Mark in Hollywood.

The DVD – which, by the way, includes commentaries and an OK making-of – looks rather divine (lots of bright colours), but that’s typical of Disney who seem to take a lot of pride in their disc ventures.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris