‘Invincible’ tackles box office


    With the monotony of the NFL preseason finally coming to an end and the regular season still more than a week away, America is ready for some football. “Invincible” fed that need. According to boxofficemojo.com, “Invincible” was the No. 1 movie in America this weekend with a $17.03 million haul.

    Starring Mark Wahlberg (“Italian Job”) and Greg Kinnear (“Little Miss Sunshine”), “Invincible” tells the story of Vince Papale (Wahlberg). Papale is a 30-year-old Philadelphia bartender and substitute teacher who attends open tryouts for his favorite team – the Philadelphia Eagles – and makes it, against all odds.

    The film also stars Elizabeth Banks (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”). Banks plays Janet, the cousin of Papale’s friend Max, who comes to Philly to work at Max’s bar alongside Papale.

    While she’s a diehard Giants fan (at least she’s not a Cowboys fan), she and Papale hit it off, driving him even more to succeed.

    Taking its cue from inspirational sports movies of the past, including “Rudy” and “The Rookie,” the story of Papale gives people hope in the face of immense adversity.

    Throughout the movie, I was amazed at just how much I felt for Papale and the Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil (Kinnear). I continually felt goosebumps as Papale rose from a vicious hit and showed the determination that swayed Vermeil into placing him on the team.

    I don’t mean to play spoiler here, but with “Invincible,” the story isn’t just about whether Papale has the skills to make the team, but whether he has the heart to fix the Eagles franchise, which had been on an 11-season losing streak.

    “Invincible,” while it does have a well-known cast, brings the characters to the forefront, giving viewers a true look into the personal struggles and exterior obstacles that hindered, but couldn’t stop, Papale from fully realizing his dream.

    While the character-driven plot lines most intrigued me, those looking to get their football fixes will also be happy with “Invincible.”

    Although the football scenes’ violence didn’t warratn a “PG-13” rating, they are incredibly lifelike. The actual games are shot so well I felt transported into them, many times feeling as though I was running alongside Papale.

    If you’ve ever been a sports fan, you’ve probably daydreamed about playing in the Super Bowl or the World Series and the game rests on your shoulders.

    You may not be a big Eagles fan like me. In fact, I bet most of the people reading this couldn’t care less for the Eagles, but this movie isn’t just for fans of the team. It’s not even just for those who love the sport of football. It’s for anyone who has ever dreamed achieving more.