Saturday, May 04, 2013

Review - 42 (2013)

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Lucas Black.
Directed by Brian Helgeland.

42 is the long awaited biopic of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson. The movie follows Jackie Robinson's (Chadwick Boseman) transition from the Negro Baseball League into the major league. He broke the color barrier by being the first Negro man to be signed by a Major League Baseball team (Brooklyn Dodgers).

Seeing that the film is set in the aftermath of World War II, the movie opens with a little history about blacks involvement in the war and the tremendous racial prejudice they faced along with segregation. We then meet the character Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) who went on to do what no other white man dared to do at the time - bring in a negro player. His role in breaking the color barrier in baseball is just as essential and I think he was well portrayed by Harrison Ford. His portrayal was convincing, his words powerful and he was a delight to see on the screen. Chadwick Boseman was also impressive as lead. I was able to connect with his character through his struggles, distractions and tauntings. Another character which I found surprisingly good was Pee Wee Reese, portrayed by Lucas Black. He was a sympathetic character and chose to stood by Jackie, when other teammates were reluctant. We get to know the main characters while witnessing the "circus show" which has arisen because of Jackie's association with the team.

42 had some pacing issues at the start. I felt that the first few scenes were rushed but the movie does slow down and we get an interesting thought-provoking story with good character development. No character in the film felt under-used; all were solid. I thought they did a good job in capturing the era and the musical score provided that atmosphere and inspirational feeling.

While most other baseball movies are all about thrills, 42 highlights a legend as he stood against prejudice and made history. Enjoyable even for non-Baseball fans.

Ratings: 8/10

Movies Also Watched:

21 And Over (2013)
Surprisingly fun college comedy. Predictable but enjoyable. - 7/10

Mystic River (2003)
An awesome, well written and acted twisty drama. There was no need for a second ending though. -10/10

Upstream Color (2013)
The most complex, strange, sensual and mysterious love story you'll ever watch. - 9/10

Breathless (1960)
I understand that this was groundbreaking for the New Wave Era but I found this movie boring for most parts. - 6.5/10

Dead Man Walking (1995)
A slow-paced drama spearheaded by a great Sean Penn performance and good dialogue. - 8.5/10


  1. Nice review Shawna! Still haven't seen this but I'm always up for a good baseball movie.