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 Movie Review: Goal! 
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Lite Four
Lite Four
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:03 am
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This film tells the story of Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker), a Mexican who illegally crossed the border into America with his family when he was still young. His sole dream since he was young was just to play football (aka soccer). He lives in Los Angeles with his single dad (Tony Plana), a grandmother who dotes on him, as well as his little brother. His family is very poor, and Santi works in several menial jobs to earn a living. His dad wants him to help in the family's gardening business instead of dreaming about playing soccer professionally.

Santi plays for a local LA soccer team, and is easily the best player in the team. One day, he was spotted by a ex-Newcastle United Scout, Glen Foy (Stephan Dillane) who, promising him a trial at Newcastle United, told Santi to get enough money to fly to England. That marks the beginning of what would ultimately change his life forever.

This film is the first part of a planned trilogy. Football is arguably one of the most popular sports in the world, and as such, are the filmmakers of Goal! able to transfer The Beautiful Game to the big screen successfully?

The plot is yet another fairytale "rags to riches" story. This is made worse by the use of many narrative cliches, such that, at the end of the movie, you'd feel that the story is too far-fetched. You get Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola), who is a "playboy" and a bad example for sports players because he drinks and parties his career away. There's an envious old player who picks on the new kid on the block. The way Santi's father disapproves of his dream while Santi's grandmother supports him fully is also rather over-used. As such, the lack of creativity might have let the film down. Also, the movie was rather predictable. With three minutes left and Newcastle United needing a goal to qualify for the Champions League, you don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to guess that Santiago Munez would provide the winning goal.

However, the main focal point of the movie is still the football itself. Santi already displays some nifty moves and amazing dribbles in the first few scenes. As the movie progressed on to games at Newcastle United, real TV footage from games from the 2004/2005 season were used, making the football scenes quite realistic. Moreover, the real Newcastle United players played alongside Santi. To add even more authenticity, international football stars like David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer were used as well.

That aside, the performances of the cast were still reasonably good. Kuno Becker is a believable character. Alessandro Nivola and Stephan Dillane also did well in acting as Gavin Harris and Glen Foy respectively, especially Nivola who was able to depict a "playboy" lifestyle with ease.

This film is definitely highly recommended for football fans. The football and the appearances of numerous football stars more than justify the money you pay for the ticket. However, if you don't enjoy watching soccer, and have no idea who Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham are, chances are, the movie won't be enjoyable to you.

Ratings
For football/soccer fans: 7.5/10
For those who don't care about soccer: 5.5/10

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Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:03 am
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Psychic Trainer
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:06 am
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Location: Earth,The Galaxy.The Milkyway,The Univierse.
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I wanted to see this movie but i saw wagcotwr(wallace and grommit)istead becuase it bassicly looked better

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Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:51 pm
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