Saturday, April 20, 2013


42 (2013)

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland

Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Andre Holland, Christopher Meloni, Brett Cullen, Ryan Merriman, Lucas Black, Alan Tudyk, Hamish Linklater, T.R. Knight, James Pickens Jr and John C. McGinley

After being criticized for not watching movies with a predominantly African-American cast being a certain family member. 42 is a movie that I actually wanted to see. I grew up watching Astros games seeing the game of baseball. It makes you wonder when you were in the stands back in 1947 when Jackie Robinson first took the field.

The movie starts like any typical biopic with the obligatory text about the where the starting point of the film is gonna be. Jack Roosevelt Robinson (Boseman) was a shortstop for the Negro Baseball League team, the Kansas City Monarchs when he is picked by GM Branch Dickey (Ford) to become the first Negro player in the major league. With the help of his wife, Rachel (Beharie) and sports writer Wendell Smith (Holland), Jackie navigates through the murky waters of integrating into white baseball.

Usually movies about pioneering figures would get into saccharine territory, this movie is not exception. The roar and jeers of the crowd, the swelling music and the obligatory slow motion running on the bases. Watching the movie, you have no idea why Branch Dickey decides to have a Negro player on the Brooklyn Dodger until a conservation happens while Jackie is being stitched up.

42 being so squeaky clean could have been major strike against it. It didn't mind that. I was fascinated about the trajectory of this man being plucked out from the K.C. Monarchs into the national spotlight in manner of two short years. Robinson only wanted to play baseball and be good at what he did. He didn't set out to be a hero. That's what he turned out to be in the end. Players commemorates Jackie Robinson with wearing his number in solidarity. It's a wonderful thing.

I was very surprised that Branch Dickey was played by Harrison Ford in the trailers. Boseman as Jackie Robinson was very good. He made him suave, smart-aleck that would get a temper from time to time. I was surprised that Alan Tudyk from Firefly, Serenity and Suburgatory played the racist manage of Phillies. By the end of the movie, I was tearing up. The movie got me hook, line and sinker.

My Rating


  1. Good review Branden. Conventional and corny to a fault, but still always kept me compelled and happy to see that Jackie's story was being told with the decent amount of respect and integrity like it deserves.

    1. I agree that the movie could have been corny, but the story of Robinson gripped me. It could have been "movie of the week" territory. I'm glad that the movie didn't diminish his legacy.

  2. I love Robinson's story and I really dug the trailer for this and was a little bit bummed that I missed it when the screening came around. I'm not sure if I will catch it in theaters but I'll definitely seek it out on DVD.