42 (2013)

42 Poster

42 (2013)

Unfortunately I missed this film in the theatre.  It was one that I wanted to see, but I just did not get to it.

42 is based on the incredible true story of how Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 with the help of the Brooklyn Dodgers Executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).

42 Boseman Cameras

The film was written and directed by Brian Helgeland and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Lucas Black, Andre Holland, Alan Tudyk, Hamish Linklater, John C. McGinley, Toby Huss, Brett Cullen, and Jesse Luken.

The film feels like a genuine depiction of America’s favorite pastime in the 1940s.  Having not lived during that time, I cannot say it is exactly like it was, but the set certainly brings you back to an earlier time.  The cars, clothes, uniforms, houses, and cleanliness of the cities make it look like the 1940s, but it’s the performances by the actors and how they are filmed that make it actually feel like the 1940s.

42 Boseman Black

The scenes during baseball games were so detailed that I could practically taste the Cracker Jacks.  It felt like you were in the stands with the rest of the audience watching history being made.

I was familiar with who Jackie Robinson was and what he did before watching this movie, but I did not know much of his story.  42 tells his story so well on screen that if I didn’t know any better, it could have actually been the real Jackie Robinson in the film.

42 Boseman at bat

You are really able to feel for Boseman’s Robinson character and the racial hatred that he was subjected to and stood up against.  He persevered, overcame, and ultimately changed baseball forever.  He was the tip of the spear that cut out racism not only in professional baseball, but in all professional sports.

42 could quite possibly be Harrison Ford’s best performance as an actor.  He was brilliant, but Boseman was equally dazzling as Robinson.  If you ask me, I think that Boseman could easily win an Academy Award for Best Actor and Ford could win one for Best Supporting Actor.  It would be a crime if neither actor is at least nominated.  They both deserve recognition for their awesomeness.

42 Boseman Ford

My only issue with the film was that it was so good throughout that the ending seemed almost anticlimactic.  Instead of building up to a finale, it felt like it just ended a little too abruptly.  The ending was not bad by any means, it was just a little unexpected.

You do not have to be a fan of baseball to enjoy this movie.  However, baseball fans will probably respect it even more.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

About Brock Winspear

Structure Therapist and Film Critic

Posted on August 16, 2013, in Drama Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. David M. Green

    I always take movies based on true events with a grain of salt – since in far to many of them the directors and writers take liberties by either adding something that did not actually occur and/or leave something out that did actually occur that doesn’t fit in with their agenda. 🙂

    • I totally agree David! That’s why they say based or inspired. If it’s someone like Michael Bay for example, he is going to Michael Bay the heck out of that so called “true story” until it’s unrecognizable. I just really enjoyed the film and it was done so well, that if I knew nothing about Robinson, I might be convinced it was actually him in the movie. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I love baseball movies and really enjoyed this one. I actually hope that Ford get a nom, but it would be somewhat of a disappointment for him to win best supporting since he has always been a lead actor 🙂

    You are definitely right about Michael Bay tho, Even though Armageddon (1998) was based on a true story, he took some liberties with it 🙂

    • If Ford gets nominated, then they both will get nominated. If one of them wins, then they both will win. It’s the type of movie where you can’t really have one of the other win. Ford has always been a lead actor, but this could be his best performance. Thanks for the comments Rob!

      • think it really will also depend on what other performances will be nominated. there are few movies where both actors are shoe-ins without even knowing the competition

      • I agree, but in my opinion Jackie Robinson probably could not have been played any better and Ford was excellent. If Ford is considered for an Oscar, arguably Chadwick Boseman did a better job. It might be about time that the Academy recognizes Ford for something and by doing so they couldn’t possibly overlook Boseman. So either both men win or neither man wins. I could be wrong. Afterall I didn’t think Christian Bale would turn down 50 million dollars to play batman and Ben Affleck would get the part.

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