Enjoyable, but a bit too safe
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Starring: Karra Elejalde, Alain Hernández, El Langui
Director: Curro Velázquez
Running Time: 95 mins
Holy Goalie (Que baje Dios y lo vea) is a Spanish film about a monastery that decides to set up a football team and win the Champion Clerum in the Vatican City, which will help them to save their home from being turned into a hotel.
You know the score here. A team of unlikely outcasts come together and triumph against the odds, all the while learning about themselves. The thing is, though, that Holy Goalie is just that, a rather generic and safe sports comedy that, while having its moments, fails to really grab you with any ingenuity or excellence.
First off, however, if you’re looking for a nice, easy-going and simple football movie, then there are few out there better than this. With a very basic premise that’s backed up by likable but simple characters, Holy Goalie is a film that you can watch with your brain turned off completely and still enjoy.
Along with that light, easy-going nature, the film has a degree of decent comedy. While it’s nothing particularly gut-busting, a combination of zany characters and simple slapstick do make for the odd laugh. What’s more, if you know your Spanish football, then there’s a whole host of little in-jokes that bring a pleasant energy to proceedings throughout.
However, the comedy is also indicative of the film’s main weakness. With the comedy plugging along fairly nicely and harmlessly throughout, the film never seems to have any impetus to think outside the box, missing out on what is effectively an open goal to poke fun at the quirks and challenges of religion in the modern day.
Of course, it’s not ignored entirely, but with a screenplay that leans heavily towards the side of slapstick, there’s a disappointing lack of religious satire throughout, proving that the film is just a little too safe and simple to prove really entertaining.
And then you have the eternal problem of the sports movie script. As is the case with pretty much any of these movies, the ultimate focus is very simple and very predictable: they either win, or they lose. With that formula, there’s little room for strong dramatic development throughout, a fact that shows why so many sports movies are easy-going comedies, because it’s much easier to rely on laughs to keep the viewer’s attention
Of course, there are exceptions to this, but those films generally take somewhat of a wider focus, whether it be a coming-of-age story or a social drama. Holy Goalie, on the other hand, is just a pretty basic comedy, and there’s not all that much more to say about it.
Overall, Holy Goalie is a film that you can go and enjoy as a simple, easy-going comedy, and with likable characters and the odd good laugh, it is an entertaining watch at times. However, with a generic plot and comedy that’s a little too safe, the film ultimately fails to impress, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9.