42 (2013) – Film Review

42 film poster.jpg


Starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, and Christopher Meloni

Directed by Brian Helgeland

IMDB Rating: 7.5

Review written by Rachel Geiger [Become a contributor!]

If you’re a fan of baseball and feel good movies, it’s likely that 42 is something that you will likely enjoy.

This film tells the inspirational true story of Jackie Robinson, who was the first African-American to play baseball in the major leagues. It follows his journey from playing minor leagues with the Montreal Royals and the racism that he faced there, to playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. With the help of Branch Rickey, Robinson faces a variety of characters who don’t agree with an African-American playing in the big leagues, but he never gives up.

There’s something really special about true stories being made into movies. Obviously, there’s also a lot of problems about this as well. Some things that were in the movie may have not really happened, and there might have been a few things that they exaggerated or just left out in general. However, I think that Hollywood did do a decent job overall with telling Jackie’s very significant story. The hate thrown at Jackie Robinson throughout the movie is very disheartening to watch today, but it was obviously very appropriate considering the time period.

The performances were also a big part of why the audience cared so much about the story. I feel like the majority of these performances were convincing and believable to say the least. I felt like Chadwick Boseman in particular did a really great job at capturing some of the feelings that Jackie Robinson likely felt during this time. As I mentioned earlier, it was hard to watch at times, but that’s also the point. The film is supposed to make you feel angry and I think Chadwick did a good job with making you cheer for Robinson. Harrison Ford did an amazing job playing the role of Branch Rickey, the executive who handpicked Robinson to be the first African-American to play in the major leagues because he believed that he could handle all the hate. This particular role was unlike any other that Ford has previously played. He changed all of his usual manners, his speech, and the way he looked and carried himself in general. I’ve never seen what the real Branch Rickey looked like in interviews, but I’d say that Harrison Ford did a great job with truly becoming the character instead of simply playing the role.

The directing by Brian Helgeland, who also wrote the screenplay, was pretty decent as a whole. Helgeland is most noted for his writing, but his directing isn’t bad either. There wasn’t really that many huge shots or anything that had a big impact on the story or anything, but it still was a good job.

This is a feel good movie that is based on a true story. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll probably enjoy this movie quite a bit. Even if you don’t know much about baseball, but like inspirational movies, then this also might be something for you. I recommend this one if you want something on the uplifting side of things!

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