Retired NFL coach Dick Vermeil is known for turning around struggling football programs, inspiring his teams, and leading the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl victory in 2000. But he's maybe best known for crying a lot. He's an emotional, big-hearted guy who, moved by the thrills and agony of the game, tears up on the sidelines, in press conferences, in locker rooms. Knowing that, I was sort of surprised that Vermeil's character in the true-life football drama Invincible doesn't tear up once.
But I wasn't surprised that I did. A couple of times. Invincible is the latest in Disney's heartwarming line of true sports stories like Remember the Titans, Glory Road, and The Rookie. Like those previous films, Invincible is 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.
Invincible's inspiring everyman hero is Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a 30-year-old down-on-his-luck but affable bartender. A stud at backyard football, a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, and everyone's shoulder to cry on, Vince is the glue that holds his working class friends together. And then, his life unravels financially and personally.
Mark Wahlberg as
a down-on-his luck
bartender … and huge Eagles fan
A new door of opportunity opens for Vince in 1976 when Vermeil, the new coach of the struggling Eagles, makes an unconventional move: He holds open tryouts. After unending teasing and encouragement, Vince finally agrees to go down to the tryouts. If nothing else, this "number one Eagles fan" figures it's at least a chance to be on the same field his heroes have walked.
Of course, you can guess how the story goes from there. They wouldn't have ...1
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