Aside from a flirtation with the hot-button immigration issue, this inspirational movie about an underdog soccer player from tough East Los Angeles is pretty standard stuff. Mexican TV heartthrob Kuno Becker stars as Santiago Munez, a rec-league standout who lands a trial with the fabled Newcastle United club of northeastern England. The appealing young man's tribulations are predictable, his triumph inevitable; while he gets respect (and the girl, played by Anna Friel), we get another Rocky-style dose of emotional uplift, cloaked in the usual game-day clich\xE9s. Not a bad movie, but as familiar as Alex Rodriguez's batting average. Two sequels are already in the works -- probably aimed at the soccer-crazy international market. Brit director Danny Cannon and Brit screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais know their futbol, but will American moviegoers pay to play?
Danny CannonKuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Anna Friel, Marcel Iures, Sean Pertwee, Alessandro NivolaMike Jefferies, Adrian Butchart, Ian La Frenais, Dick ClementMatt Barrelle, Mike Jefferies, Mark HuffamBuena Vista