42 – 4 out of 5
Baseball is an American pastime…at least, that’s what I’ve been told over and over again. To be honest, I don’t even understand how the game is played. Does it involve throwing bases around like a ball? Is twenty-sided dice involved? Surely a golden snitch must come into play somehow.
|"Alright, Robinson, let's get you to your podracer. It's time for some baseball."|
|"My cigar is telling me something...get me Jackie |
|He just realized how awesome he is and that they'll make movies about him|
in the future.
My lack of baseball knowledge aside, like anyone who has ever studied history and the civil rights movement, I am familiar with the amazing achievements done by Robinson—his achievements in the movement, that is, I still don’t understand all the stats from his baseball career (an R.B.I is some sort of food preservative, right?). Getting to see the impact he left on the history of our country in this film only helps to make Robinson look larger than life but, at the same time, a fish out of water that had no idea the lasting change he would have on the world. Do you really think it’s a coincidence that his number was 42? 42 is, after all, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.
|Little known fact: Enrico Polazzo did the national anthem.|
Not only did I really like the fact that this movie went out of its way to really make it look and feel like the late 40s with its costumes and sets (to the point I was about to start doing the Charleston or whatever the hell dance they were doing then—truth be told, I didn’t feel like Google-ing the dance crazes of the 40s for this review) but the acting and the real-life drama this film showcases made it feel so damn authentic and realistic in its delivery; only enhancing the look and feel of the era. However, my favorite part had to have been watching the incredible drama the movie unfolds before you like Boseman as Robinson dealing with the manager for the Philadelphia Phillies (played by Alan Tudyk) taunting the soon-to-be-legend with racial slurs.
|"I'll stop that black man from playing baseball with my mind powers!"|
Not only is Boseman performance just terrific as you watch him swallow heaps and heaps of pride in order to not run over and bash the manager’s face in with the potential weapon in his hands that could easily stop being utilized for hitting baseballs and traded in for bashing racist testicles but it’s a role I’ve never seen Tudyk ever play—I’ll be honest, it was a little weird seeing Wash use the ugliest word in existence. However, these scenes just spoke volumes of the harsh reality that Robinson had to face being the first black player in the majors. Watching him try and ignore the taunts, seeing his teammates start to sympathize with his pain and seeing the hope in Branch Rickey’s face when he knows that Robinson is strong enough to overcome it and make history really made for an emotionally powerful and intense sports drama.
|My hope is that Boseman grabbed Tudyk's ass in order to get that face.|
Robinson’s story is one of hope and understanding and when you have tremendous performances from great actors involved in that story, it really helped make the film feel nothing like a film but a view into the heart of the times and experiences that Robinson went through. Boseman was fantastic as the history making ballplayer and Harrison Ford gave a performance the likes of which I haven’t seen from him ever as Branch Rickey. Watching these two share scenes together was nothing less than awesomeness incarnate.
|And Christopher Meloni is in the film. Who doesn't love Meloni?|
42 is more than just a sports film; it’s more than a biopic about the man who become the icon of a generation and a statement about demolishing racial barriers. The movie is an inspiration. The film is one of those stories from our history that shows how far our country has come towards equality…and all it took was baseball to move it along. I realize this is a cheesy end to my review but the film’s drama really pulls at the heartstrings and really makes a person swell with pride as you watch the story of Jackie Robinson. With excellent production value recreating an era with an insane amount of detail to the truly amazing and powerful performances, 42 is an awesome film…even to a person who never watches sports (that’s me, I don’t watch sports…just wanted to make that clear.)
|The movie made me feel like I was running the bases with Robinson...granted, if I wasrunning the bases with him, I would be out of breath and passed out by the time I |
hit the 2nd base...