Pelé movie more embarrassing than those erectile disfunction ads

Let's put this one down as another own goal.

Pelé: Birth Of A Legend Kevin de Paula
Own goal Pelé: Birth Of A Legend star Kevin de Paula. Image Picture IFC Films

Hollywood hasn’t had much luck when it comes to making movies about football.

For every Escape To Victory there’s a Goal 3. The dizzying high of Looking For Eric is followed by another crap Green Street hooligan film. And let’s not even talk about Cristiana Ronaldo’s smug, self-serving documentary.

Pelé should be different. One of the greatest players to ever grace the football field, Edson Arantes do Nascimento is now the subject of his own glittering biopic.

The film – titled Pelé: Birth Of A Legend – looks like a spectacular cinematic own goal if critics are to be believed. Ahead of the movie release in US cinema’s this weekend, Rotten Tomatoes has it clocking in at a pathetic 14%.

That probably makes it a less entertaining watch than Pelé’s erectile disfunction ad.

Slant Magazine‘s Nick Prigge branded the movie “profoundly disappointing”, saying it relegated the beautiful game to nothing more than a “sedate slog”.

Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian gave it a good kicking, too. “Considering this is the first biopic of one of the world’s most beloved athletes, it’s too bad such a predictable and ham-fisted kids’ flick was the goal,” he wrote.

Roger Moore (not that one) was slightly kinder, although he was no fan of Kevin de Paula, the actor tasked with immortalising the Brazilian icon on film.

“Pelé is bland, Hollywood-ized (in Brazlian/Portuguese-accented English), a sometimes entertaining, dazzling-on-the-field biography built around an utterly colourless lead performance,” he wrote.

There’s no UK release date for Pelé: Birth Of A Legend yet, but give the trailer a watch to get an idea of just how terrible it looks. Still, it’ll have some way to go to top the dreadful FIFA movie United Passions.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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