No sooner is he Britain's brand new sensation than Santi is traded away to the Valhalla of European soccer, Real Madrid. He's happy to go, even if it means putting stress on his relationship with his British fiancée Roz (Anna Friel). Whisked off to Spain, he finds himself sharing a locker room with Beckham, Ronaldinho, Zidane (all appearing as themselves), and Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola), an old-time and rapidly aging British soccer star who shows Santi what this world of Ferraris, mansions, and bosomy Spanish sluts is all about. The painfully sincere Santi is wide-eyed but virtuous and only gets into trouble when photographers catch him in what they mistakenly believe to be naughty acts. After seeing the photos herself, poor Roz is bereft in rainy Newcastle.
Santi's newfound fame in Spain also brings lost family members out of the woodwork. His mother (Elizabeth Pena) abandoned the family back in LA years ago, and now she lives in Madrid with a new husband and a young son who tracks Santi down and boggles his mind with claims of his fraternal relationship. Can old wounds be healed? Si!
In true Rocky II style, the richer and more famous Santi gets, the more miserable he becomes. The film even poaches from the Stallone flick by forcing Santi to make a humiliating commercial (for Japanese tofu) just to earn a few bucks. Bottom line: Fame and fortune mean nothing if you have no one to share them with, as we've all seen in the movies 500 times before.
While all of this, especially the locker room scenes with Beckham, may be fascinating to European soccer fans, American audiences, who don't have a clue about soccer or Europe or the business intrigue of competing European soccer clubs, will be both baffled and bored. What does shine though is the expertly edited soccer scenes themselves. Driven by a pounding soundtrack, they combine real match footage with the actors' own play in an utterly convincing manner.
If your kids play soccer, they may appreciate this tall tale of Santi's rise from obscurity to shin-padded glory, but once you pop in the DVD, chances are you won't want to stick around.
Aka Goal 2.
Wasn't that Pele's number?
Run time: 115 mins
In Theaters: Friday 29th August 2008
Budget: $230.4 thousand
Distributed by: Freestyle Releasing
Production compaines: Impala
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 39%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 11
IMDB: 5.9 / 10
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer: Matt Barrelle, Mark Huffam, Mike Jefferies
Screenwriter: Mike Jefferies
Starring: Kuno Becker as Santiago Muñez, Stephen Dillane as Glen Foy, Anna Friel as Roz Harmison, Leonor Varela as Jordana Garcia, Elizabeth Peña as Rosa Maria, Carmelo Gómez as Burruchaga, Miriam Colon as Mercedes, Frances Barber as Carol Harmison, William Beck as Steve Parr, Kieran O'Brien as Hughie McGowan, Sean Pertwee as Barry Rankin, Rutger Hauer as Rudi van der Merwe, Alessandro Nivola as Gavin Harris, Iker Casillas as Himself, Iván Helguera as Himself, Sergio Ramos as Himself, Roberto Carlos as Himself, David Beckham as Himself, Raúl González as Himself, José María Gutiérrez as Himself
Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...
This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...
Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...
As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...
After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...
Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...
Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...
Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...