DIR: Juan José Campanella • WRI: Juan José Campanella, Gastón Gorali, Eduardo Sacheri • PRO: Juan José Campanella, Mercedes Gamero, Gastón Gorali, Jorge Estrada Mora, Manuel Polanco • DOP: Félix Monti • ED: Juan José Campanella, Abel Goldfarb • MUS: Emilio Kauderer • CAST: Rupert Grint, Anthony Head, Peter Serafinowicz
With World Cup fever taking a stranglehold on all of our lives this summer, football fans will no doubt be relishing the return of some of Europe’s bigger leagues to start back later this month. In the meantime, director Juan Jose Campanella offers up a scintillating feast of footballing animation that is destined to hit the back of the net.
Amadeo (Rupert Grint) is an expert foosball player in his local village. His problem, however, is that he is a bit of an outcast with just his wooden foosball players and childhood friend Lara as his companions. Spending much of his time in a local bar may seem like a quiet existence for Amadeo. However, when local bully Flash (Anthony Head) shows up to challenge our hero to a game of foosball, Amadeo and Lara are thrust into an adventure that will have serious repercussions on their small town after Flash loses his first ever game of Foosball to Amadeo.
It’s now many years later since the loss and Flash is now an expert and popular footballer whilst Amadeo is still the same down and out character we’ve seen before except that he’s a bit taller. When Flash threatens to close down the town it’s up to Amadeo, Lena and his wooden counterparts to save the day.
The Unbeatables is a fun yet slightly off the wall film. Think Toy Story meets ‘Subbuteo’. While it may not have the look of Toy Story it’s certainly got the same heart and humour coursing through it, which makes for a very enjoyable animation.
The voiceovers from Grint and Head are great and seem to really get behind their characters; however Lara, voiced by Eve Ponsoby is a bit flat and monotonous in her delivery. The rest of the cast of wooden players are anything but with cliché ridden football terms and many jokes about footballer’s being primadonnas.
It’s a very topical and up-to-date film with football jokes and puns especially from BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce. The only thing is though, if you are not a football fan or don’t really have an interest in football away from the pitch, some jokes may fall flat on their face.
It’s a very solid and humorous football animation that will certainly leave audiences cheering at the final whistle.
G (See IFCO for details)
The Unbeatables is released on 8th August 2014