Invincible - Sport as Social Oppression

Walt Disney
Duration: 100min
Category: drama
Available: On DVD
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If youíve seen Remember the Titans, Glory Road or Miracle, you have already seen Invincible. Disney cranks these out a couple times a year. Their over glossy, rah rah sports flicks have become clones of each other and Invincible is just the latest.

This time itís Mark Wahlberg in a football story but youíve seen it all before. Reluctant everyman overcomes prejudice and hardship to succeed at sport and redeem his miserable life. Hereís a suggestion for anyone whoís had any minor success as an athlete. Call up Disney. They are looking to buy the rights to your story so they can churn out another from this mill.

As I was watching Invincible and getting more and more bored by this rerun of a film, I realized there was a more insidious nature to the movie. There is a sketchy message lying beneath the surface and I donít think itís the kind of message I want my kids getting.

This is a story about people whose lives are miserable. There are some rumblings in the background of them struggling to make their lives better. But then, someone with power offers one of the downtrodden a shot at glory. Suddenly they are distracted from their pathetic, exploited lives by the magic of football.

Their crappy situations donít matter anymore because they are all too busy watching the games (and the commercials that riddle the TV coverage), buying tickets for the games (and shilling out for ridiculously overpriced refreshments while they are there) and filling pubs where they spend the last of their hard earned cash worshipping the game. One of them gets to live the dream and the rest continue on in squalor, happily sedated by sport. They are happy in their bottom of the rung roles and the powerful are happy no longer threatened by the uprising masses.

Professional sport has been criticised as the opium of the masses before so this is nothing new. I am as much for good distraction as the next guy but I just didnít see before how complicit Hollywood was in schlepping this twisted version of the American Dream. The message here isnít one of making the most of yourself, but of drowning yourself in some fools paradise.

ďAll we have is the Eagles,Ē the characters repeat throughout Invincible. If that is truly the case then this isnít a situation to celebrate, itís a situation to change. Move, get yourself a life and stop happily swallowing the bone the man throws you every so often to keep you complacent.

Review By: Collin Smith

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