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Bettie's Box Office: 42 Movie Review

Updated: Tuesday, April 16 2013, 03:14 PM CDT

Just about everyone already has a favorite baseball movie: Field of Dreams, The Natural, The Sandlot, Bull Durham, League of Their Own – or about a dozen others. So when you set out to make a big-time movie about a big-time sports icon, you have to “swing for the fences,” so to speak. That being said, 42 isn’t a home run, but it’s a stand-up double.

To see the trailer click here:

The movie actually follows the story of two men: Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), who must suffer all the racial hatred that comes with being the first African-American ballplayer in the major leagues; and Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), the gutsy owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who pulls Robinson out of the Negro Leagues, not only to make a statement but also to make a buck.

Boseman bears a remarkable resemblance to Robinson, and his portrayal both on and off the baseball diamond is believable. He plays Robinson as a reluctant hero. Ford, barely recognizable under a wig and fat suit, brings his movie-star gravity to the film and serves as its moral voice.

The movie fell short for me when it tried too hard to look epic by using super-slow motion and sweeping orchestral scores. With the exception of one scene, you never really get a feel for the constant threat to Robinson’s life that followed him throughout that rookie season.

In fact, if you took out the racial slurs (and some of them are pretty rough), 42 could probably be rated PG or maybe even G. Baseball historians are giving 42 thumbs-up for accuracy, although some of the lines are given to characters who didn’t originally say them. After all, this is another movie “based on a true story.”

42 is now in theaters and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language.

Bettie's Box Office: 42 Movie Review

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