Invincible Ericson Core

Where would a sports movie be without a good biography to be based on? Invincible tells the tale of Vince Papale, a Philadelphia bartender who in 1976 found himself playing for the Philadelphia Eagles at the ripe age of 30 years old. Starring Mark Wahlberg as the heroic underdog, it’s an extraordinary story, especially considering the gruelling training and experiences professional athletes undergo to play in the NFL. Down on his luck after his wife leaves when he can’t make ends meet as a part-time substitute teacher and bartender, Papale’s life changes when the Eagles hire coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear), who offers open try-outs to the public in order to reinvigorate the team’s spirit. Through the numerous cuts made in training camp, Vince survives but not without everyone in the office questioning his worth, as 30-year-old athletes don’t make ideal rookies. However, thanks to a desperate coach willing to take a chance, Vince gets his call as a receiver/special teams member and after much physical and mental abuse, earns his wings. Like a real life Rocky, Papale’s legacy as a blue collar nobody rising to sports glory from nothing is humble but significant subject matter. It’s standard feel-good Disney fun but is much better than a lot of sports films that are green-lit, largely because of its realistic on-field action and likeable lead character. "Becoming Invincible” is an honorary featurette that through football highlights and interviews underlines the impact Vince had on the Eagles, who were in an 11-season play-off drought when he and Vermeil joined. Papale also joins the writer and producer on one commentary, which gives an added bonus, as he sheds even more light on specific moments in a remarkable life. Plus: director commentary. (Disney/Buena Vista)