aka: Goal! The Dream Begins, Goal! The Impossible Dream
Director: Danny Cannon
Starring: Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Marcel Iures
Every dream has a beginning
Santiago Munez and his family have moved illegally from Mexico to Los Angeles in the US to try to make a better life for themselves. Munez loves playing football and one day a scout from Brittain catches him in action and is very impressed with his raw talent.
The scout, Glen Foy, promise him that if he is ever able to come over to the UK he will be able to try out for Newcastle United. Munez works hard and tries to save up money for the journey, but his father is doing what he can to stop him from going. Munez however refuses to give up his dream and it is not long before he stands on St. James Park and is ready to give it all to enter the world of professional football.
Goal is a rags to riches story that are made for kids who share the dream of becoming a world class football player when they grew up. Adult fans of the sport will have trouble ignoring all the flaws of the film, like how could Munez get a work permit in the Premiership without playing for Mexico and the fact that he looks like he is a few years above being what you would call a young talent in this game. It’s also funny how the manager tells Munez that he has to play for the team and not for himself since football is a sport for teams and not individuals, yet everything in the film concentrate on Munez. When he is on the field, they win, when he’s not, they loose.
That being said, would boxing fans look at Rocky and say that it was any more realistic? Probably not and that’s ok. The film is more about the dream of making it than about the beautiful sport. It does try to show us some personalities that football fans are used to though, we do see Gavin Harris the football who is destroying his talent and reputation by using more energy on chasing women and drinking beer than actually playing and also Jamie, the young footballer who gets his career ruined by getting a knee injury.
There are plenty of football scenes in here aswell, some are good and others look fake. They used real matches and sometimes messed up who Newcastle was playing against and stuff like that, but few would probably notice. I’m not sure how skillful Kuno Becker who plays Munez is with the ball though since we don’t really see him handle the ball that much. I also didn’t care that much for Munez, yeah he comes from a troubles home and poverty but that’s how it is for a big percent of footballers. Munez seems to not really appreciate every chance he is given and that bugged me a lot during this film.
The director of the film is Danny Cannon who has had a few notable films during his career including the original Judge Dredd, The Young Americans and for us horror fans – I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. In the last few years he has worked mostly on television shows. He keeps the film light-hearted and the pacing is good, especially considering two hours for a film like this could easily become boring at parts. A closer attention to details would have been nice though.
Goal might not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a good enough film that youngsters will enjoy. It’s a Disney take on the sport of football and you got to take it for what it is.