42 hits a home run

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By John Devereaux
Staff Writer

This past weekend, the new sports drama 42 was released to theaters. Directed by the award-winning Brian Helgeland, the film follows famous baseball player Jackie Robinson and his career in the late 1940s when the renowned baseball player was just starting out in the big leagues.

The actor playing the role of Robinson, Chadwick Boseman, was outstanding. His attitude toward his role was very enthusiastic. Chadwick was first spotted in Hollywood in the 2008 film The Express. The actor had to go through a form of his own spring training for this part – he had to train like a pro to act like pro. The training did pay off for Chadwick, because he successfully captured viewers and played Robinson in a believable way.

Harrison Ford played the role of Branch, the manager of Robinson’s team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ford’s acting was praise-worthy, but could have been better. The film’s script had him rush through why he wanted Robinson on the Dodgers, which confused audience members who were not familiar with Robinson’s story. While Ford doesn’t necessarily deserve an Oscar for his performance, he should be credited for playing a hard role. The dramatic form of his character was somewhat lacking, and his lines felt rushed.

Other actors such as Lucas Black, who played shortstop Pee Wee Reese, were tremendous. Black’s character showed the professionalism of a real ball player while also encompassing the emotion of a real person. His acting was great throughout the film.

This film is an inspiration to everyone. It shows the heart of an athlete and the discrimination that Robinson had to go through as an African American baseball player. Despite the odds, Robinson succeeded in his sport and managed to become a legend. Despite this, the movie isn’t all about being dramatic – it has some moments that will make you laugh and smile. Every minute of the movie was entertaining.

Early on, critics predicted that the film would be a flop for an American hero as important as Robinson. However, it proved to recreate  a believable image of the first African American baseball player. Overall, the film gets 4.5 stars out of 5, and I highly recommend it.