Underdogs (2013 Argentine film)
|Directed by||Juan José Campanella|
|Based on||Memoirs of a Right Winger|
by Roberto Fontanarrosa
|Music by||Emilio Kauderer|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|85 minutes (USA) 106 minutes (Argentina/Spain)|
97 minutes (UK)
|Box office||$34 million|
Underdogs (known as Foosball in Argentina and The Unbeatables in the United Kingdom) is a 2013 Argentine 3D computer-animated comedy co-written, produced, directed and edited by Oscar-winning director Juan J. Campanella. The film is loosely based on the short story Memorias de un wing derecho (Memoirs of a Right Winger) by Argentine writer Roberto Fontanarrosa. Gaston Gorali, co-writer and producer of the film, and Eduardo Sacheri (who had previously worked with Campanella for the classic film The Secret in Their Eyes) developed the screenplay with Campanella.
The film is an Argentine production, and was released by Universal Pictures International in Argentina on 18 July 2013, setting an all-time record for an Argentine film opening at the box-office. Costing $21 million, the film is the most expensive Argentine film of all time, and the most expensive Latin American animated feature ever. In 2014, The Weinstein Company acquired the rights to distribute the film in North America. After numerous delays, including an August 2015 theatrical release that was scrapped last minute, the North American English-language version was released on DVD in July 2016. The film was available on Netflix in the United States in June 2016.
The film received mixed reviews upon its international release; it has a 67% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 14 reviews, while scoring a 38% weighted average score on Metacritic, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
In the American version, the film features the voices of Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Morrison, Eugenio Derbez, Taran Killam, Shawn Mendes, Katie Holmes, Brooklyn Beckham, Bobby Moynihan, Bella Thorne, John Leguizamo, and Mel Brooks. Whereas, the UK version features the voices of Rupert Grint, Ralf Little, Anthony Head, Rob Brydon, Peter Serafinowicz and Darren Boyd.
A father who is putting his son Matty to sleep narrates him a story, beginning by telling Matty to use his imagination while listening.
Many years ago, Jake, a timid boy and the best foosball player around, was working in a bar in a small and quiet town. He loved Laura, a girl he met in the bar, but she did not know. While showing Laura the foosball table, a bully named Ace arrives and challenges Jake to a game in front of Laura. Although Jake refuses to play at first, he is victorious, and everyone at the bar applauds. Outside of the bar, Ace encounters a manager who offers to take him on.
Seven years later, Jake's simple routine falls apart when Ace becomes the best football player in the world, and returns to the small town to avenge the only defeat in his life. Now that he is famous, Ace announces that he has purchased the whole village (as the town's mayor escapes in a helicopter), and builds a gigantic football stadium, although he is more interested in owning the foosball table where he lost to Jake and destroying the bar where he was defeated. He also wants to win the affection of Laura.
With football, the bar and even his soul destroyed, Jake discovers something magical: in the face of adversity, the town's foosball players talk and plan. Together they embark on a journey full of adventures to save Laura. Along the way, they become a real team, and while Ace turns the town into a giant stadium and forms a soccer team, Jake recruits members of Ace's foosball team along with those of his own, and also forms a soccer team to challenge Ace for their town.
At the game, Ace's team takes the early lead, but the foosball players help Jake's team to tie the game. However, with seconds to go, Ace deliberately injures Jake, who is unable to stop him from scoring the winning goal. As Ace gloats and celebrates his victory, the crowd instead praises Jake's good sportsmanship, and Ace is rejected by his fans for his selfishness and his manager abandons him while his teammates also congratulate Jake, who reunites with Laura in the end. Jake, Laura, and their friends build a new town in honor of them.
The father, Jake, finishes his story and leaves Matty's bedroom, but Matty remains awake and hears voices well into the night. Going outside to the shed to investigate, he finds Jake and the foosball players conversing at the foosball table. Heartened by this, he joins them.
|Character||Original Spanish dub||UK dub||US dub|
|Amadeo (Jake in the US)||David Masajnik (adult)
Luciana Falcón (young)
|Rupert Grint (adult)
Darren Boyd (older)
Oscar Leonard (young)
|Matthew Morrison (adult)|
Shawn Mendes (young)
|Capi (Captain Skip in the UK and US)||Pablo Rago||Ralf Little||Taran Killam|
|Loco (Ziggy in the US)||Horacio Fontova||Peter Serafinowicz||John Leguizamo|
|Beto (Rico in the UK and US)||Fabián Gianola||Rob Brydon||Eugenio Derbez|
|Capitán Liso (Gregor in the UK and Captain Rip in the US)||Miguel Ángel Rodríguez||Alex Norton||Bobby Moynihan|
|Laura (Lara in the UK)||Lucía Maciel||Eve Ponsonby (adult)
Fern Deacon (young)
|Ariana Grande (adult)|
Katie Holmes (older)
Bella Thorne (young)
|Grosso (Flash in the UK and Ace in the US)||Diego Ramos (adult)
Mariana Otero (young)
|Anthony Head (adult)
Jack Maison-Hayman (young)
|Nicholas Hoult (adult)|
Brooklyn Beckham (young)
Sergio Pablos, executive producer and creator of the original idea and story for Despicable Me, acted as animation director for 20 minutes of the film, and advised Campanella on direction. The rest of the film was animated under the directions of Federico Radero and Mario Serie.
Puerto Rican band Calle 13 composed and performed the original song of the movie.
An English-language version of the film was produced in the United Kingdom by 369 Productions with Vertigo Films handling the distribution rights and was released under the name The Unbeatables on 15 August 2014. The UK dub features stars such as Rupert Grint, Rob Brydon, Anthony Head, Ralf Little, Alistair McGowan, Peter Serafinowicz, and Eve Ponsonby.
In March 2014, The Weinstein Company acquired distribution rights for the film in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France, with plans to release their own English-language version of the film under the title Underdogs. The US dub features Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Morrison, Katie Holmes, John Leguizamo, Eugenio Derbez, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Chazz Palminteri, and Mel Brooks. The film was originally going to be released in 2014 but was pushed back several times. A week before a planned August 14, 2015 release, the film was pulled from the schedule. It was released direct-to-video on 19 July 2016.
Based on 15 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a positive rating of 67%, with an average rating of 5.64/10. On Metacritic, the film currently has a rating of 38 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Conversely, reception in Argentina was far more positive, with review aggregator Todas las Críticas marking an average score of 71 out of 100.
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