United Passions is a 2014 English-language French drama film about the founding of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It was 90% funded by them in an attempt to convince people that they weren't corrupt following controversy surrounding the bidding processes for the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cups. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18th, 2014.
The film had a limited theatrical run in the United States on June 5th, 2015, only premiering in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Phoenix, Kansas City, Missouri, Miami, Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia. What made the film notorious in the U.S. was the fact that shortly after the film's release, several FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges (the main point the film was trying to argue against) and having the worst box office opening weekend ever, with $918 (yes, really, nine hundred and eighteen dollars) only being made of its $25-to-$32 million budget.
A group of passionate European mavericks join forces on an ambitious project: the Federation Internationale of Football Association (FIFA). An epic, untold story that brings to life the inspiring saga of the World cup and the three determined men who created it. Driven by their vision and passion, Jules Rimet, João Havelange and Sepp Blatter, overcame their doubts and fought obstacles and scandals to make the World Cup a reality. Spanning the tumultuous 20th Century, this timeless saga celebrates the game that, despite it all, became not just a worldwide sport, but an expression of hope, spirit, and unity.
- The film's official description on FIFA's website.
Why It Sucks
- The film is merely a propaganda film about FIFA's history, with all evidence of their acts of corruption being ignored.
- Sepp Blatter is introduced on screen with the words "Blatter was apparently good at finding money", without any irony or self awareness.
- Dull and often laughably bad dialogue.
- Stock footage from previous World Cups is often abused throughout the film with no re-enactments of the previous games.
- Wasted talent, including Tim Roth (who later regretted starring in the film and said that he only starred in it for the money), Sam Neill and Gérard Depardieu.
- At one point in the film, João Havelange actually compares the efforts of FIFA to being the work of God, blatanty giving away this film is pure propaganda.
- Sepp Blatter is portrayed as being honest and against corruption, even though he was one of the major culprits in the corruption scandal.
Upon the film's United States limited theatrical release, the film was universally panned by critics and the audience alike, earning a 0% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 1 on Metacritic (a score also shared with Bio-Dome) and a 2.0 rating out of 10 on IMDb.