The Soccer Football Movie is more of a Weird Al movie than another CGI animated sports film. When this talent is nearly everywhere in the media these days, his popularity meter going on the rise should be no surprise. Following the wild and crazy fictional biopic of the singer (my review can be read here), this tale featuring him than voicing another character is just as zany. But he alone can’t carry a film.
The story is essentially Space Jam. The premise is the same–someone wants to steal the special ability of a sports star to use elsewhere. Instead of an alien threat, we have a fellow human who is perhaps jealous of other’s stardom. Had there more of an emphasis on this theme, there’d be a story.
Instead, what’s presented is a story about four kids–O’Dang (Kieran Walton), Zana (Madison Zamor), Nautai (Tania Gunadi) and Palio (Arnie Pantoja)–getting to meet their rugby hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Megan Rapinoe (both doing great jobs at voicing themselves). As their encounter goes from bad to good, and they win his heart, he offers them season tickets. But when he doesn’t return to give them their reward, that’s because he’s been “kidnapped.” That’s because Al wants to be more than a king of the world, and all those songs he wrote is actually about how he wants to be a surgeon and mad scientist after all.
Underappreciated in North America but loved elsewhere, Underdogs is a fun computer animated adventure about, what else, the little guy getting the love that he and his friends richly deserves. This tale has a lot of similarity to DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and if I have to choose which is better, my vote is for the former. In theory, various video releases have been available for a while now, but when looking at release schedules, it’s been pushed back or is not fully out in North America. It’s available through Anchor Bay in the States, and in Canada, according to Tribute.ca, it’s set to hit shelves September 6, 2016 and the long wait is finally over. This movie originally released in 2013 in Argentina. It’s Spanish title is Metegol.
Many releases have come out since then, including a UK one, and to finally get a local release is welcomed. While many a name is changed, no further edits is implied. Amadeo is now Jake, and his love for foozball sets up a bigger game, football (soccer). His rival, Grosso (Ace) returns to their little hometown to take over. When they were kids, these two did not quite see eye-to-eye; one went on to greater things (to become a champion) and the other remained and his life went nowhere (Amadeo). Their dispute happened over a simple game of foosball, and Grosso’s desire for revenge shows how inflated his ego is. Even though he’s loved by the media, there’s a darker desire which shows how ugly he truly is. Some of that still gets conveyed in the translation, but there’s a nuance which always gets lost in the voice direction.