AppsScraps Movie Reviews

Mar 12, 2011


Release date: 3 December 2009 (Hollywood, California)

Despite the considerable talent of none other than Clint Eastwood directing, Invictus is a formulaic - verging on trite - recap of the South African rugby team's victory at the 1995 World Rugby Cup. Based on John Carlin's book, Eastwood positions the story as President Mandela's (Morgan Freeman) mission to win the cup as one tool to help unite the apartheid-torn nation. He recruits into the effort none other than the team's captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon). And while a true story indeed - and an important one - sorry, it doesn't make for very good film-making. Worse, Damon's seemed to forgot how to act (unless you count woodenness as acting) and Freeman's portrayal of Mandela cum Gandhi with a dreadful accent just plain hurts. All in all, a film decidedly lacking in heart. To paraphrase William Ernest Henley, whose poem the movie draws its title from: in the fell clutch of circumstance, I have both winced and cried aloud. 

My rating 4 out of 10.  

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