Goal! The Dream Begins

"Weak"

Goal! The Dream Begins Review


Burdened with the most optimistic title since Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Goal! The Dream Begins is indeed the first part of a trilogy that will eventually take a soccer-mad kid from Los Angeles to the World Cup. But first, he's gotta get out of the barrio; good thing there's a cliché-ridden story arc to get him there.

This chapter brings young Santiago Munez (Mexican telenovela hunk Kuno Becker) to grubby Tyneside, U.K., a destination most sun-addicted Angelinos would only consider a Dream if they were going to play Premiership soccer. Fortunately, after a scout from Newcastle United observes his ball skills, this is exactly Santiago's fate. Soon he's saying adios to his undocumented immigrant family, including Dad, who'd rather his son pursue the American dream of mowing other people's grass. Somehow Santiago gets a passport, and off he goes.

Santi, as he comes to be known by teammates, at first eats a lot of mud on the practice squad but eventually cracks the injury-cursed starting lineup. He also makes fast pals with his fellow Yank on the team, hard-partying and wisecracking striker Gavin (Alessandro Nivola), and to complete the fantasy, he engages in a forbidden (yet still dull) romance with team nurse Roz (Anna Friel). You'll have to figure out for yourself why these people take a shine to such a boring kid.

The soccer scenes are decent, spliced together with real Premiership game footage to convincing effect. But otherwise, director Danny Cannon, who previously crafted such classics as Judge Dredd and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, lends Goal! an unmistakable after-school special feel, which might have been his best choice given the juvenility of the story. (Cannon was not invited back to direct the sequels.)

Goal! is a junk pile of wooden performances, with the lone exception of Nivola's American playboy Gavin. A trilogy about him - the movie's only amusing character - instead of mopey Santi would have been thrice as much fun, and also thrice as ironic since Goal! opened in pretty much every country in the world before it got to the USA. Even worse than the cast is the cameos, including one by a wax replica of David Beckham.

Goal! also offers suspense and drama by the microgram. Every stock element of the young-man-rising-to-glory tale is present and accounted for, and the four-man writing team sustains massive effort to avoid any twists that might deviate from the formula.

If you've ever seen another sports movie, you've seen Goal! But if you haven't, and you just adore English football, this extended infomercial for FIFA might eke out just a little cheer. In spite of its promising title, Goal! is decidedly nil-nila



Goal! The Dream Begins

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th May 2006

Box Office USA: $4.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $27.6M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Milkshake Films, Hargitay & Hargitay Pictures in Motion

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 45

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Matt Barrelle, Mike Jefferies

Starring: as Santiago Munez, as Gavin Harris, as Roz Harmison, as Glen Foy, as Mal Braithwaite, as Hughie McGowan, as Barry Rankin, as Erik Dornhelm, as Hernan Munez, as Mercedes, Kate Tomlinson as Val, Emma Field-Rayner as Lorraine, Zachary Johnson as Rory, as Carol Harmison, Kevin Knapman as Jamie Drew, as Des

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.