Movie Review: 42
128 min – Biography | Drama | Sport – 12 April 2013 (USA)
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie | See full cast and crew
The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.
As Jackie Robinson was an excellent, multi-faceted baseball player, “42” is an excellent multi-faceted movie. Writer-director Brian Helgeland manages to artfully mix elements of drama, baseball action, humor and romance[!] while telling an important story about recent American history.
I thought it was wise for the film to focus on just a few years of Robinson’s career, so that more time could be given to important scenes both on and off the field.
“42” is not called the “Jackie Robinson Story” for a reason. The movie is about more than just one man. The film shows the roles that Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), Robinson’s wife Rachel (Nicole Beharie), and journalist Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) played in Robinson’s career and life. All the actors give fine performances. And Chadwick Boseman is fantastic in portraying Robinson’s determination, anxiety, anger, athleticism and courage.
I also appreciated the scenes that touched on the cultural climate in the nation. Watch for what happens between a father and his son when Robinson is introduced at a game in Cincinnati.
I thoroughly enjoyed “42”. It’s a film that that should be a game-winning hit with baseball fans, and those who appreciate civil rights and American history.