Sep 15, 2006
Invincible tells the story of Vince Papale, an unemployed substitute teacher from Philadelphia who remains a loyal Eagles fan despite a string of losing seasons. Set in 1975, the city of Philadelphia undergoes hardship in its economy as well as its professional sports, and Papale becomes a sign of hope when he earns a spot on the Eagles roster, living the dream of every fan.
It is Dick Vermeil’s first season coaching the Eagles, and he attempts to raise the fans’ morale by holding open tryouts. Among the repulsive and humorous fans who try their luck, only Papale emerges as a potential candidate. He is invited to training camp and continues to prove himself at every stage until he finally makes the team.
Although this movie is utterly predictable, I found myself rooting for Papale and even succumbing to emotion during some of the most sentimental scenes. Aesthetically, the best part of the film is its collection of classic 1970s music. This is not a DVD I would add to my personal collection, but I would certainly buy the soundtrack.
There is no explicitly Christian content here, but the virtues of courage, perseverance, and humility permeate the film. I was especially struck by the locker room scenes, in which seasoned players scoff at Papale for his audacity. It reminded me of the Pharisees’ reaction to the lame and the sinners who dared interact with Jesus. Fortunately, as St. Paul says, “God chose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong” (1 Cor 1:27).