And yet, once in a while, that familiar formula can be satisfying. With Invincible, it appears we have a winner.
Invincible is the true story of Vince Papale (played here by Mark Wahlberg) who, at 30 years of age, left behind his work as a substitute teacher and bartender for a public tryout for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles—and, against all odds, he made the team.
"Invincible is the latest in Disney's heartwarming line of true sports stories like Remember the Titans, Glory Road, and The Rookie," writes Todd Hertz (Christianity Today Movies). He calls it "a heartstrings-pulling, tear-jerking, inspiring, hopeful drama of guts and determination where people like us overcome big odds to set an example for all those around. … The movie reminds us why sports are so important; they inspire us because anyone can be a hero."
But Hertz also points out where the film stumbles short of complete victory. "While there is a great build and emotional payoff (hence my tearing up), the setup can feel forced and fabricated. … Instead of letting a story naturally develop, plot points are just stacked up on top of each other in some sort of connect-the-dots game of needed info. For instance, when Vince's wife leaves him, the very next scene introduces a very attractive blonde (Elizabeth Banks). It's not hard to guess where things will go from there."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it "the kind of Cinderella sports movie too corny to believe if it weren't true. Director Ericson Core follows a generic underdog formula—think Rocky meets Rudy—but you'll find it hard not to cheer. … ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more