This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2007 at 8:52 am and is filed under Drama, I, True Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Director: Ericson Core
Rocky has changed his gloves for cleats, but he is still on the mean streets of South Philadelphia in this stand-up-and-cheer, true story. Don’t dismiss it as just another football movie. It is more than that.
Mark Wahlberg plays Vince Papale, a down-on-his-luck hometown Philadelphia Eagles’ fan that came down from the cheap seats to take a shot at walk on tryouts, initiated as a shake-up and publicity stunt by new coach, Dick Vermeil, played by Greg Kinnear. His friends and his whole city cheers as he goes further than anyone, including himself, thought he could.
The power of this movie starts with a great screenplay by Brad Gann and is followed by a great performance by Wahlberg, backed up by an excellent supporting cast. Core does a great job at building a gritty, realistic atmosphere and creating exciting football scenes (particularly those rough and tumble neighborhood games), but the real magic is the relationships that Wahlberg’s character has with his friends and relatives. Usually with ensemble casts, that connection is difficult to establish, but film students could study this effort to see how to make it work.
This is an entertaining film that moves beyond the cliché sports movie, and becomes an impressive work that should be judged outside the constraints of “just another sports movie”. Fans of the sport genre will love this movie, but it may surprise those that don’t like the usual football movie. Give it a shot. Vince did.