It's taken over 30 years to make its way to the big screen but the Cinderella story of ex-teacher/bartender Vince Papale's triumph in the world of professional football came to life on the big screen in Invincible in 2006. Papale captured the attention of Philadelphia Eagles fans when he made it onto the team after Coach Dick Vermeil held open tryouts. The film version stars Mark Wahlberg as the lifelong football fan who just wanted his hometeam to play with heart - and maybe win a few game.
Invincible follows the rules of the football film genre very closely but also added a couple of innovations to popular sport genre. The movie followed popular clichés of football films with the “new coach” who has radical new ideas and during the final game of the movie the starring team is down at halftime. One major cliché that Invincible innovates is the cliché that the star actor is the leader on the team; instead, he is the low man on the team and actually doesn’t make any great contributions to the team.
In Invincible, the new and young coach Dick Vermeil is new to town and has a whole lot to prove. As much like most football films with a new coach, he has huge radical ideas for the teams operation. This is represented in the theme that he opens tryouts to anyone in the community to wants to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, mostly as a publicity stunt to bring fan support back up. This theme is also seen in “Remember the Titans” and “We are Marshall.” This cliché often leads to a sub-cliché that the new coach has several obstacles to overcome and receives some sort of negative criticism in the early scenes of the film. This again is also shown in Invincible when the coach heavily gossiped about in the local pub where Papale works at.
A second major cliché that is seen in numerous football films is the dramatic “final game” where the starring team is losing at halftime only to win in a last minute victory. In Invincible’s case, the final game is...
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