Since hitting pay dirt with Remember the Titans (2000), Disney has cranked out a series of fact-based G and PG sports dramas, ranging from champs (The Rookie) to benchwarmers (Glory Road). The genre shows serious signs of wear in this needlessly fictionalized feature about Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who improbably won a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976. Mark Wahlberg, the only major star who can pass for a working-class lug, is quietly convincing as the doubtful Papale; the same can't be said for Greg Kinnear, who looks like he's trying on his first pair of slacks as Eagles coach Dick Vermeil. With its beaten-down hero and drab South Philly locations, this is heavily reminiscent of Rocky, a box office hit back when Papale made the team, though screenwriter Brad Gann has cleared away any reference to it, along with other inconvenient facts (the movie shows Papale coming off the street to wow Vermeil at an open tryout; in real life he'd already played two seasons for the short-lived World Football League). Ericson Core directed. PG, 108 min.
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