1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2007
Goal! finally came out in North America. I saw this film 3 years ago in France and couldn't wait for the N.A. release here. This is truly the Rocky of soccer. Using Kuno Becker, I think was perfect for this role because he is an unknown actor, and as you start to watch the film and cant help yourself but to remember Rocky, so your anticipating to see if he makes pro. You start to root for him because of the situation he's in, that many immigrants can relate to. An illigal immigrant, no mother, works under the table, no green card, strict father who doesn't support his ideas except for his grandma. He takes a chance to leave America for England because a scout saw him play. But if he leaves America he can't return because he's illegal and has no papers. Against his father wishes he still goes and only to find out later that his father has a heart attack and dies knowing his son left for his dream. So with all the chances he gets you can't help yourself to root for Santiago Munez to make it as a pro soccer player and at the end you wish him to be a successful actor, because you become drawn to his acting appearance. You can tell that he isn't all there yet but in Goal II he also tries hard but you start to hate the character. I saw Goal II this past summer and it was very dissapointing compared to Goal I but still is a good film. If Goal I, took 3 years to reach N.A. then Goal II will be here in 2010, or get from www.amazon.fr
Goal! makes you wanna pick up the ball and kick it around. In Europe this movie was huge in Goal I he's in New Castle, in Goal II he plays with Real Madrid with all the stars Bekham. Zidane, Ronaldo etc I hope that now Toronto has a soccer team but we suck, this movie will help create more soccer fans in Toronto and hopefully the Toronto FC players watch it as well and recruit Kuno Becker to play for us.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2007
This movie is great! Pretty much anyone in your family could see and enjoy it.
It's really nice to see less known actors in the roles. It's a fantastic mixture when you can get an actor who is well known in Romania (Marcel Iures) but relatively unknown in the rest of the world and Kuno Becker (again known in Latin America but unknown to everyone else) and put them in a British film with a U.S. actor (Alessandro Nivola) along with British actors. Really clever, nice ethnic mix and an unusual one -- less predictable than the usual casting that goes on out there -- kinda opens the pool of actors that we're currently exposed to all the time.
A lot of people are complaining about the football (soccer) aspects of the movie saying that it's not real, etc. But I think they're failing to see that the movie is not only about the sport itself but about the people who play it and some of the backstage politics that are linked with it. I thought these were shown tactfully and were just enough as they were coupled with the human factor -- the lives of the players, their loves, their hates, competitive spirit, etc.
What was good about having a Latino as a protagonist in the film is that it shows the wider scope of fans football has. It is not only popular in Europe but in Latin America as well. The film could have easily gone down the eurocentric route of making the story about a European case, but this made it a bit more unusual and interesting. Since Santiago was an illegal immigrant who obviously took the great risk to come to the United States and didn't really have much going for him here, his risk of going to England to try his luck there is completely plausible.
Some people may feel that the portrayal of the Latino family was stereotypical, but on the whole, I thought it was positive with the characters being honest and working hard for a living rather than being common hoodlums as they are sadly put forth in many films. Santiago was shown to be a modest young man who is not too full of himself and a generally likable character.
This is a spectacular soccer (futbal) movie and good movie. The story follows Santiago Munez, an illegal Mexican immigrant who works for his father doing yard work for the upper class. Finally, one day an ex-New Castle scout happened to be watching his nephew play when a ball comes flying his way: Munez is playing on the field right next to him! The ex-scout (Glen Foy) watches him and is amazed... And so begins the story of an unlikely world class player trying to make in the England premiere league. As an ex-scout uses the little "pull" he has to give Munez the chance he deserves.
Despite all the cliches, the story is actually done really well and you will genuinely love all the characters that the movie asks you to. It's a movie full of good morals, and is very reserved and conservative; which is something that really adds to its charm.
Where this movie truly excels is the Futbal. This movie captures the game like no other. You will be enthralled watching the players' skills, but most of all, you will be nervous, anxious, and on the edge of your seat; you feel so roped into the game that it feels better than watching is live... I don't know if it's the camera work, the full field of players (some whom you will recognize), the fans in the local bars, or the stadiums filled with cheering fans... This movie is IT for soccer.
There are many movies about sports, some very good, some really bad and this one falls into the very good category. "Goal!" is the typical sports movie about an exceptionally talented young amateur who is given a chance to shine among the professionals and win the heart of the girl he loves. However, "Goal!" works this premise and makes it fresh and entertaining. Director Danny Cannon had complete support by FIFA and Newcastle United and it shows, he has created some of the most realist and remarkable football scenes in film.
Kuno Becker is very good as Santiago, although at times he is overshadowed by other members of the cast. It seems as if he lacked some presence on screen. However, he is still young, and certainly will improve with the years. Alessandro Nivola steals the movie with his performance as Gavin, a notorious football star whose convoluted public life begins to take its toll in his performance in the field.
Cannon's approach to the story may seem clichéd, but the movie is never boring nor tiresome. Sure, he follows every rule in "Sport Movies Handbook" but he does it with care, good eye and love for the sport. Just like sport movies should be done. The movie flows smoothly between remarkable football scenes and Santiago's struggle with his own personal demons. While at times it seems that both Cannon and Becker are more comfortable in sports scenes, the movie's dose of drama is well handled and completes an enjoyable experience. Even though it's frankly predictable most of the time, it transmits passion, emotions and a love for the game that few movies do. That's why "Goal!" can be considered a successful and important film. It is the first film about football soccer that transmits the emotions that have made the sport to be the most popular sport in the world. And that's got to be worth something.
It may not be a perfect sports film; however, "Goal!" is the beginning of an adventure, and hopefully, of a new way to make football movies. This initial film of what is called the "Goal! Trilogy" delivers high energy entertainment for fans and non-fans of the sport.