MOVIE REVIEW: Foosball: The Unbeatables

From the foosball table to the football field, this animated film is filled with the funny and the feels.



( Foosball: The Unbeatables is an animated film from Argentina where it's known by the title Metegol, the Spanish word for the tabletop miniature version of soccer that we know as foosball. Directed by Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) and inspired by a short story by Roberto Fontanarrosa (Memoirs of a Right Wing), the movie is about a small-town boy named Amadeo, who’s ordinary except for his one claim to fame-he is the town's foosball champion. Amadeo is content with the simple life but events unfold and he must grow up and take responsibility-maybe even do something heroic.



The foosball players can’t believe the events unfolding on the football field.

Foosball set the box office record in Argentina in 2013, and this year it has been translated and adapted for non-Spanish speaking audiences. Rupert Grint, more famously known as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series, lends his voice and star power as the lead character.


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Loco, Skip, and Rico show some fancy footwork while attached to the foosball table rod.

The film starts slow, and there's a clunky junkyard scene, but once the ball gets rolling (pun intended), it's a joy to watch. The comedy bits hit the mark and had us laughing out loud, sometimes even louder than the kids in the audience!


What carries the movie are its characters: Amadeo is the charming underdog that you can't help but cheer for; Laura is the passionate friend who pushes Amadeo to greatness; and Flash is the obnoxious villain who is seemingly unbeatable.



Gregor arguing with Skip, captain of Amadeo’s team


Then there's Amadeo's foosball team, who take the characterizations over the top. Captain Skip is too focused on teamwork and disrespects their worthy opponents. Rico is so focused on his handsome self that he forgets about his teammates. And Loco isn't focused on anything at all, and yet he comes up with the right ideas and gets the best lines in the film.


Filipinos are constantly exposed to American and Japanese animated movies and TV shows, so it is refreshing to see the Argentinians’ take on the form. The drawing style is pleasantly imperfect, with the characters’ features, clothing, and movements noticeably exaggerated to emphasize every personality. And a bonus treat for animation fans: Make sure you stay for the closing credits to see some concept art.



Gregor, captain of the opposing team, appears at the junkyard and he’s brought a friend.


"Our intention was to create a highly unique and original world. I believe we succeeded because I haven't seen anything like it in any other movie," said Campanella. The late Fontanarrosa, a cartoonist, would be proud.


Soccer has taken great strides in popularity in the Philippines over the past few years, but you don't need to be a football fan to enjoy Foosball: The Unbeatables. The themes tackled here such as responsibility, teamwork, perseverance, and honesty are universal. Make time for it one weekend and see this movie with the kids.


RATING: •••• 4 out of 5 spots


Foosball: The Unbeatables is now showing in theaters.


Photos courtesy of Axinite Digicinema

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