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Football Film Thursdays: The Unbeatables

In a potential new series, the brilliant @GameofThrowIns, reviews football movie 'The Unbeatables'.

Hi, I'm GameofThrowIns from that there Twitter and I thought I'd attempt to try and walk you through the usually eccentric and very occasionally moving world of films based around football.

The game we love presented on the usually not-so-silver screen.

"So, Juan. Congratulations on the Academy Award for The Secret in their Eyes, what did you have in mind for your next project?".

An animated family film where table football players come to life and help a village team play against some sort of futuristic sci-fi version of the Galácticos probably wasn't what Juan José Campanella's agent expected to hear.

But here we are.

Here's the trailer:

Amadeo (Rupert Grint), our argyle sweater loving protagonist is an extraordinarily talented table football player. In a moment of adolescent confidence he angers local boy Flash (Anthony Head) by easily beating him with his highly accessorised group of plastic players.

In order to seek revenge, Flash hires an agent, leaves the small community and becomes the best footballer in the world, as all angsty teenagers do.

Years later he returns as a fully fledged Cristiano Ronaldo lookalike with plans to demolish the entire village he grew up in and build a brand new state-of-the-art stadium where it once stood.But he isn't completely devoid of reasoning and challenges the village to a winner-takes-all football match between his new superstar club and whoever the village can band together at a moments notice.

Originally released in Latin America and then dubbed into English, there seems to be a lot of square pegs into round holes to make the animation work. It's a fairly enjoyable affair, but nothing you'd be in a rush to watch again (unless you really love Ron Weasley).

The table football players provide most of the entertainment and excitement in the film, but it's fairly cringeworthy at times. Flash's comically evil agent provides the best piece of dialogue in the film: "Trust me, I've worked at FIFA", which has become even more appropriate as investigations into football's governining body continue this year.

If you ever wished that the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey turned into a football match then this is right up your street, or at least the first few minutes are.

If not, then it's a story you'll have seen a numerous amount of times in sports movies against a strange backdrop with a fairly happy ending.

The studio's budget for voice actors could stretch to afford Jonathan Pearce but not Robbie Savage, so you'll have to put up with Alistair McGowan doing his very best/worst impression of the angry Welshman. That might be enough to put anyone off.

Verdict: 2/5

Follow @GameofThrowIns on Twitter, and find out more about The Unbeatables here on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni57596804/.