Goal!!!!!!!!

So I watched the last two-thirds of Goal!: The Dream Begins. I was mildly interested in seeing it. There aren’t too many movies about football and the two that I’ve seen were pretty fun (Victory and Bend it Like Beckham). This movie is about a barrio kid from Los Angeles that abandons his life in America for a shot in the Premiere League. It’s a fun premise and, as some of you know, I like the Premiereship so I thought I’d give it a shot. What I discovered was a movie that shattered the records for unintentional comedy.

Goal! is just so awesomely bad. I think it would have been a whole lot better if the director focused on the player and his dream, but there are so many ancillary plot lines that absolutely ruin the movie (if you take it seriously). So much of it is hilarious because it sucks. I want to watch the whole thing because it’s so silly. I’m looking forward to the sequel (September release in the US) and the third movie (which is in pre-production). Anyway, here are some of the movie’s dumber points:

  • There’s a totally unnecessary romance between the main character and the team nurse. The relationship in Rocky was important for the character. Here it’s just stupid.
  • The main character’s accent fluctuates throughout the movie. In some scenes he sounds British. In other scenes he sounds like an American from Kansas. He never sounds like a Mexican kid from LA that was in a gang, which is what he was supposed to be.
  • His skin tone fluctuates too. In some scenes he’s pretty dark. In others, he’s barely darker than his British teammates. I know he’s playing an outdoor sport and all, but I don’t think the UV levels in Newcastle would lead to such color fluctuations. Who the hell did makeup for this movie?
  • There’s a silly subplot where he main character hides the fact that he has asthma from the team. One of the other players conveniently sees him using his inhaler. Before the next game, said player stomps on the inhaler, which leads to a poor performance from the main character and him getting dropped from the team.
  • As the main character is heading home from the airport, the “star” player from the club needs a taxi because he was out drinking, woke up in a strange room, and found that his car was missing a wheel. Conveniently, the taxi that was bringing the main character to the airport is rerouted to pick up the star. The star is convinced of the kids talent and convinces the manager to keep the kid on the team.
  • The main character goes to a pub with a fellow player and two girls. All of them drink wine. I’m pretty sure this is illegal in Newcastle. I’ve been to the city twice and I’ve never seen anyone drink wine at a pub.
  • The main character’s father is angry because he “left like a thief, without saying goodbye.” Naturally, the father dies. The kid wants to go home to be with his family, but stays to pursue his dreams. He is saddened that his father never watched him play. Little does he know that his dad went to a pub in LA to watch his match against Fullham. The kid learns this at the end of the movie and feels better about his father dying (or something like that).
  • There’s a funny scene where the manager makes the kid run to the goal as he kicks the ball over his head. He does this twice. He asks the player what he learned and explains that the ball moves faster than a person, ergo he should pass more. I’m pretty sure he could have just said, “Kid, pass more or I’m kicking you off the team.”
  • The “star” player (who looks like the lead singer from The Scorpions, btw) takes the kid out partying. The kid gets bullied into a naughty photo. Of course, his nurse girlfriend is pissed about this. “Star” players girlfriend leaves him, but chats with the kid before she does. The kid confronts the star about his wild ways. The star kicks him out of the flat they’re sharing. This was another totally unnecessary yet predictable plot line.

For some reason, I expected more from this movie, partially because of the two aforementioned football movies and partially because I thought a British writer would be smarter than his American counterpart. What I discovered was that British sports movies can be just as stupid as American sports movies. On the plus side, the unintentional comedy here is fantastic.

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