Much of what Jackie Robinson became as a man and as a baseball player can be attributed to Rickey, but nobody had to face the fire like Robinson. Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary Jackie Robinson and for lack of better words, he hit it out of the park. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey. For a long while, it is sort of strange to see Ford as a older, puffy, weathered and worn old baseball executive. Yet, he also delivers a top-notch performance as the guy behind the scenes, pulling the string, knowingly orchestrating the future.
"42" is beautifully filmed and accurately filmed. In fact, it may be one of the most authentically filmed baseball films ever. The ballparks are recreated beautifully. Everything is authentically detailed from the gloves, to the practice fields and even the lack of lights at the Negro League games. To list all the things that the movie creators did to authenticate their film, would take up my entire review.
While the movie is beautifully film and authentically filmed, I felt that it played out too much like a historical timeline document. The film covers the first two years of his time in the Dodgers organization and it is essentially a by the numbers sort of story arch. He did this and then this happened and then this did, etc. There were some powerful scenes where we see Robinsonâ??s steel faÃ§ade crack a bit, but as a whole the movie never came close to effecting my emotions like other baseball or sports movies have. The bad thing is, this one should have because it is real and the story deserved that emotional impact.
Jackie Robinsonâ??s story is an amazing one and an important one. In many ways, Robinson changed the culture of America more than Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. He carried himself with honor and he was part of something that America loved and those that didnâ??t like it, could do nothing about; baseball. For that, "42" is an essential film and a good one. Unfortunately for "42" though, Roy Hobbs batting despite a knife wound and Ray Kinsella playing catch with his father are still the benchmark for baseball movie moments. "42" never comes close to touching those kind of emotions.