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  Publicity Stills of "Goal 2"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Drama
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Cast: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, David Beckham
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 28 June 2007 (Exclusive release in Cathay Cineleisure)


Real Madrid beckons for the Toon Army's favourite player: Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker). Whilst his fiancée (Roz played by Anna Friel) plans their wedding in Newcastle, he realises every footballer's dream and gets to wear the legendary white shirt alongside David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Raul.

Mirroring the paths of many footballing legends before him, Santiago, in the second part of the trilogy, basks in the glory, the acclaim and the money, only for this illusion of happiness to be shattered and his life destroyed. As the fame hungry, avaricious and beautiful Jordana seduces
our aspiring Galactico, his past is closing in to catastrophic results. Set against the backdrop of Real Madrid, Santiago discovers the ugly face of success and begins to lose his career, his friends and most importantly Roz.

Movie Review:

It’s quite apparent that the only goals that “Goal II” aspires to reach would be to capitalise on the wanton commercialisation of the sport. In many ways, “Goal II” feels as inorganic as the Astroturf on Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, but it’s entire basis for existing fits in directly with the current climate of modern football’s marriage between marketing the lifestyle and promoting the game.

In the first film of its trilogy, the late blooming Mexican prodigy Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker) heads to Newcastle United after numerous deux ex machinas and quickly becomes the hottest property in football. In “Goal II”, Santiago moves to Real Madrid, which the film argues for its own sordid purposes that it is the best football club in all the land. Despite overreactions to logistical issues from flippant Geordie girlfriend, Roz (Anna Friel), he joins up with ex-clubmate, the unhinged English superstar Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola) in a glamourised Madrid setting.

“Goal II” glosses, polishes and shines itself into a veritable product of faux-earnestness, an insincere riches to uber-riches story of tepid ambitions, frivolous decisions and romanticised evocations. The world it creates is a cocoon of fortune, swanky parties, lascivious olive-skinned women, flashy Maseratis, last minute match-winning goals etc. But the film’s quick to temper itself with its own version of “problems” by mirroring real-life WAG (wives and girlfriends) scandals, poor form on and off the pitch and a hysterical subplot featuring a long-lost family. While basically existing within itself, the film gambles on trite sentimentality to form a connection with its audience despite an ineffectively formulaic and utterly predictable finale.

It all just seems dated in its references as footballing distinctions are by and large cyclical and the landscape of club football changes quickly. But yet, it’s possibly a harbinger of things to come when David Beckham is seen as a significant supporting star by virtue of just being there rather than a billed bells and whistles cameo. And with the dumbed down specifics of the game and quaint British colloquialisms for those with a casual acquaintance with football, the intentions are clear enough in that the film prioritises US distribution.

Sensationalising the lifestyle and by that measure, alienating its audience is not the film’s only hypocrisy. “Goal II” glorifies the fame and prestige of being a modern footballer by invoking the media’s fascination with these players and the reverence they enjoy on the world stage. But at the same time, it makes sure to show its young, idealistic protagonist as humble and bashful of his upsurge in publicity. And when the inevitable happens as a player buys into his own hype, it shows how the modern footballer’s lifestyle ends up corrupting Santiago’s bonhomie - the same lifestyle that the film unrelenting idolises and throws in our faces.

Movie Rating:

(Nothing more than a shill for club football and its players)

Review by Justin Deimen


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