Goal! The Dream Begins

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Anna Friel. Written by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais. Directed by Danny Cannon.

Goal! The Dream Begins (kind of a giveaway title) has the lead, an underprivileged Mexican illegal, forced to live his fathers dream until a scout sees him play soccer (thats football in England, where our story travels). He is a solid citizen, if an unlawful one, who has escaped his days in poverty and the hood. Aided by a supportive grandmother and a man whose own dreams have vanished, the young athlete goes on to display courage, determination and principle. Ultimately the character reveals a respect for his Catholic beliefs and a regard for others.

I cant think of any other film genre whose formats are more alike than sports movies. The formula always consists of an underdog, a disapproving relative, a bullying teammate who comes to respect our protagonist, and lastly, a last second winning moment. These films are all the same. That said these cookie-cutter adventures can be entertaining when they feature involving storytelling, well-photographed athletic matches, and most importantly, a lead performer with charisma. I found those qualities in Goal! The Dream Begins.

Lets face it, when it comes to sports movies, we filmgoers want to see the good guy overcome his obstacles. It gives us hope. If he can make it, so can I. Anything wrong with that message?

I enjoyed this movie thoroughly, but here is what gave me the most satisfaction. A young boy, sitting in the row ahead of me, lifted his arms in triumph at the final score. He had been inspired. Not a bad goal for a film with that word in the title.

Sports video supplements: The Basket, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Glory Road, The Rookie, National Velvet to name a few.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Touchstone Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: 6 s-words.

Profanity: I caught no profane use of Gods name.

Violence: A couple of players are injured on the soccer field.

Sex: It is implied that the bad boy star of the team is sleeping with different women. We see him wake up in bed with a sleeping woman. No graphic sexuality. Women are seen in provocative attire in a couple of the nightclub scenes and around a pool.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several scenes feature people drinking in night clubs, but not the lead.

Other: One theme deals with the loss of a parent.

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens, teens and adults

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