Goal III: Taking on the World
|Goal! III: Taking on the World|
|Directed by||Andrew Morahan|
|Produced by||Mike Jefferies|
|Written by||Mike Jefferies|
Jonathan Ezekiel Arias
|Music by||Mark Thomas|
|Edited by||Giles Bury|
Goal III: Taking on the World (also known as Goal III) is a 2009 sports drama film, the third part of the Goal! film trilogy. It was directed by Andrew Morahan, and written and produced by Mike Jefferies, who returned from the first two Goal! films. Unlike its two predecessors, this film did not have a theatrical release and was instead released straight to DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 15 June 2009.
Many of the key filmmakers who made the first two films did not participate, including the original screenwriters and most central cast members. Kuno Becker, who played protagonist Santiago Muñez in the first two films, appears only briefly at the start. The film instead focuses on two fictional England players at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Charlie Braithwaite (Leo Gregory) and Liam Adams (JJ Feild).
In this film, Kuno Becker briefly returns as Mexican footballer Santiago Muñez, but the story focuses mainly on two previously unknown friends and England national team players Charlie Braithwaite (Leo Gregory) and Liam Adams (JJ Feild), who are selected for their national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.
As all of them attend the shooting of a film Braithwaite is featured in, tragedy befalls them. All three and Braithwaite's new love interest and soon to be fiancée Sophia Tardelli (played by Kasia Smutniak) suffer a car accident which puts Muñez out of contention through injuries and thus he vanishes from the story leaving the viewer to watch these completely new characters.
Liam Adams discovers that he has a daughter he did not know about, Bella, from former love interest June (played by Anya Lahiri). This adds to Liam's preexisting alcoholism and release from Real Madrid. It is revealed that Muñez is set to return to England as a Tottenham Hotspur player under a two-year contract, along with Liam, who re-signs for Newcastle United, the original club of both ex-Real players. The film goes on to depict the World Cup from the English perspective. Liam scores against Sweden (2–2), assisted by a header from Charlie, and England qualify for the knock-out stages. However, in the match against Ecuador, Charlie is injured, and later collapses in the changing room. He is rushed to hospital, and dies on the way from an aneurysm (from the car accident). England crash out of the quarter-finals against Portugal as Liam misses a crucial penalty against Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo while Cristiano Ronaldo converts.
Liam later proposes marriage to June. Santiago Muñez is the Best Man. During his wedding speech he remembers Charlie and his eyes get teary. As confetti is thrown on Liam and June, Italy are shown lifting the World Cup Trophy after beating France on penalties in the final.
Also following the tournament around Germany in their St. George's Cross festooned camper van are the "Geordie Boys", who first appeared back in the first "Goal!" film. Providing the entertaining fans' perspective of the match are Newcastle United die-hards Gordon (Mike Elliott), Foghorn (Christopher Fairbank), Walter (Jack McBride), and Phil (Craig Heaney) in their drunken, womanizing adventures in Germany.
Unlike in the first two films, beloved characters Roz, Glen Foy, and Gavin Harris do not feature in the film. Santiago implies that he and Roz did not get back together following their separation. As shown in the second movie, Foy was fired by Santiago. Harris is not mentioned. All actual professional footballers are shown through stock World Cup footage. The sporting role of the actors in this film is limited to the green screen. In selected scenes, professional lookalike Derek Williams is used as a double for Sven-Göran Eriksson.
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The film's release was met with a level of disappointment from audiences, predominantly based on quality and the fact that it does not deliver the conclusion to the Goal story. The first two Goal films had built up a large core audience and Goal 2 had set up something a cliffhanger with its ending, something completely ignored by this film.
Critics were not kind either, echoing the same sentiments as the viewers. In his review for the website Shadows on the Wall, Rich Cline gave the film 2 out of 5 stars and wrote, "The conclusion of the officially sanctioned Fifa trilogy oddly shifts the attention away from the central character Santi to focus on two English players instead. The result is watchable and lively, but still a bit corny."
The reasoning behind the envisaged disparity in plot and quality of the film seems to concentrate on the lack of budget available to producers. In his review for Goombastomp, Redmond Bacon writes "Made on a budget of only $10 million (compared to the original’s far larger budget of $33 million), access to the pitch was obviously limited..."[unreliable source?]
- Leo Gregory as Charlie Braithwaite
- JJ Feild as Liam Adams
- Kuno Becker as Santiago Muñez
- Nick Moran as Nick Ashworth
- Tamer Hassan as Ronnie
- Kasia Smutniak as Sophia Tardelli
- Anya Lahiri as June
- Wendy McGregor Fitzsimmons as Sue