Goal 2! Living The Dream

 

 

The second part of the Goal! trilogy has been released and FIFA.com takes a look at what audiences around the world can expect from the latest instalment.


In the second part of the Goal! trilogy, Real Madrid beckons for Newcastle United’s favourite player, Santiago Munez (Kuno Becker). While his fiancée Roz (Anna Friel) plans their wedding in the north east of England, 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 foot balling legends before him, Santiago, in the second part of the trilogy, basks in the glory, the acclaim and the money, only for his illusions of happiness to be shattered. As the fame hungry, avaricious and beautiful Jordana (Leonor Varela) seduces our aspiring Galactico, his past is closing in on him creating catastrophic results. Set against the backdrop of his life at Real Madrid, Santiago discovers the ugly face of success and begins to lose his career, his friends and most importantly Roz.


 

For Santiago, being at the very pinnacle of club football is not easy. “There’s a lot of baggage that goes with it”, explains producer Mike Jefferies. “There’s a great deal of temptation put in his way. He’s exposed to money, fame, women and fast cars and finds that there is a new, darker world outside the pitch.”

To convince Real Madrid to get involved wasn’t such a difficult task. “They understand their brands,” explains producer Matt Barrelle, who cites the international appeal of Goal 2 as the key reason that persuaded the club. With the infrastructure in place, including the full cooperation of FIFA, the filmmakers sought a director. They wanted somebody who would bring a different vision to Santiago’s journey: someone young, exuberant and capable of communicating how the world of fame and success manifests itself.

The producers turned their attention to Jaume Collet-Serra. “He is one of the most energetic and dynamic directors of his generation”, said Jefferies. “We felt his stylish approach would take the film to an entire new dimension. As the audience will see, he takes us on an exciting journey from the muddy brown fields and grey skies of north east England, to a palate based on the nocturnal glamour of floodlights and flashbulbs.

However more importantly, Jaume is a football fan himself, which led him to accept the role. Yet, there were difficulties, principally with worries over the film impacting on the Merengues’ hectic schedule. “There was a line and we never crossed it,” he said. “We understood that we wouldn’t go anywhere near the club when they’re were preparing for a game”.
All in all, Goal! 2 has been an intense and fun experience for everybody involved. Now it is time for the audiences to accompany Santiago in this second part of an exciting journey…
Cast: Kuno Becker, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Alessandro Nivola, Nick Cannon, Elizabeth Pena, Leonor Varela, Rutger Hauer
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Story by: Mike Jefferies and Adrian Butchart
Screenplay by: Mike Jefferies, Adrian Butchart and Terry Loane
Producers: Mike Jefferies, Matt Barrelle, Mark Huffam
Co-producer: Danny Stepper
Associate Producers: Nicholas Gaultier, Stevie Hargitay and Steve McManamanI saw the first movie and fell in love. It wasn’t just the football that made me love the first instalment of the film, the story line was captivating and that hope of a dream come true, of making it big in Europe and playing with the big boys was just amazing.
So far no cinema in Oman has announced a release date of the film, or indicated at all that it even exists ( poster…. ) .
The DVD still hasn’t been released.

 

HAS there ever been a great football film? We're not talking documentaries here. I mean a football drama that can match the searing power of a Raging Bull or This Sporting Life?

Few worthy contenders come to mind. Sean Bean's superannuated attempt to play Roy of the Rovers in When Saturday Comes? Michael Caine puffing up the sidelines in Second World War adventure yarn Escape From Victory? Robert Duvall's Russ Abbott-influenced Scottish coach in A Shot At Glory alongside a very respectable Ally McCoist?
It is a sport that stubbornly refuses to translate into memorable cinema.


Goal 2! is the second in a planned trilogy of films following Santiago (Kuno Becker) from Sunday league star to world-class player. Quite why this requires three films is anyone's guess although they will make a lovely boxed set on DVD.
The first film followed Santiago's journey into the bosom of Newcastle and was achieved with some warmth and charm and a great deal of sporting clichés. The second film has Santiago signing for Real Madrid and facing all the temptations that come with life in the fast lane.


Relations with fiancée Ros (Anna Friel) are strained as she prefers the drizzle of Newcastle to a new life in Spain. His long lost mother and a brother suddenly appear to prick his conscience and take his mind off the ball and as his star rises his best mate Gavin Harris (Alessandro Nivola) discovers that good looks won't keep him in the game forever.
There's almost a Star Is Born element within the bigger picture as fresh-faced Santiago threatens to become a top goal scorer for Real Madrid under coach Rutger Hauer whilst Gavin's losing streak starts to look like it might never end.
Goal 2 is slickly made and a good deal more watchable than the average episode of the unlamented Footballers' Wives.
Becker makes a very personable star and there is a natural, unforced chemistry with Friel.


Giants of the game such as David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Thierry Henry pop up on the pitch and in the changing rooms to add a stellar seal of approval to the proceedings.


The film's biggest problem is an excessive running time, an abundance of soap opera sub-plots and an entirely predictable storyline that has the virtuous Santiago thrown off course by the vast pay cheques, fast cars, flash ladies and intrusive paparazzi that are now a part of his daily life.


Dramatic tension is only achieved by some desperately contrived moments that wouldn't amount to a hill of beans if any of the major characters simply sat down and had a sensible conversation with each other.
The search for a great football film continues.


On general release from Friday

 GOAL II: LIVING THE DREAM (12A, 115 mins) *** Drama/Romance. Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Leonor Varela, Elizabeth Pena, Stephen Dillane, Rutger Hauer, Nick Cannon, Frances Barber, Santiago Cabrera, Miriam Colon, Sean Pertwee. Director: Jaume Collet-Serra.

FANS of Arsenal FC would do well to avoid Goal II: Living The Dream, the second instalment of the rags to riches football trilogy.

Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra and editor Niven Howie have manipulated footage from the Gunners’ hard fought clash with Real Madrid in last year’s UEFA Champions League (which Arsene Wenger’s men won 1-0 on aggregate) for the edge-of-seat finale. So while fact documents Thierry Henry’s heroics en route to the final, fantasy gives David Beckham, Raul and Zinedine Zidane (who all cameo) the taste of victory, which eluded them that night at the Bernabeu Stadium. Such is the magic of Hollywood.

The second instalment of the trilogy continues the rise to fame of talented striker Santiago Munez (Becker). The story commences 18 months after the events of the original film, with Santiago still making headlines for his goal-scoring exploits with Newcastle United.

His personal life couldn’t be better either: he has bought a swanky house with his fiancee Roz (Friel), who is excitedly planning their wedding while continuing to work as a nurse at a local hospital. Santiago’s fancy footwork in the Premier League piques the interest of Real Madrid coach Rudi Van Der Merwe (Hauer), who buys the hotshot as part of an exchange deal for Michael Owen.

Seduced by the passion and glamour of the La Liga, Santiago becomes an invaluable member of Los Galacticos, overshadowing buddy Gavin Harris (Nivola).

Pressures on and off the field begin to take their toll: Roz struggles to adapt to a long distance relationship and sexy television presenter Jordana (Varela) sets out to seduce the handsome new buck in town.

Meanwhile, Santiago’s mother Rosa Maria (Pena), who gave up her son at birth is inexorably drawn back into her long lost boy’s life.

Like its predecessor, Goal II: Living The Dream is an uplifting modern day fairy-tale about a nice guy from an impoverished childhood, who dares to follow his heart and chase his dreams of glory on the football field.

DAMON SMITH