42 is the biopic of Jackie Robinson starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Lucas Black. America’s first African-American player to play in the major leagues of baseball. Released in 2013 solely in the United States and became the world’s highest grossing baseball film raking in $95 million dollars.
The story follows Jackie Robinson (Boseman – All My Children, The Kill Hole) as he is drafted from the negro leagues by Branch Rickley (Ford – Indiana Jones, Star Wars) to play in major league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. At a time when racism and segregation was still a large problem in the United States, Robinson was met with great hostility from cr0wds and players. Overcoming taunts, abuse and death threats to become one of the greatest players of the time. 42 shows his struggle with holding back from fighting back in his early days of playing for the Dodgers.
With a blowout performance from Boseman as the legendary Robinson. From his humble roots playing in the negro leagues to becoming a hero the to not only the African-American community of the United States but the whole country. Showing his highs and lows from his struggle with the abuse to his acceptance by the rest of his team and baseball community and bringing the Brooklyn Dodgers to the 1947 World Series. Playing Branch Rickey was Ford’s first time portraying a non-fictional historic person to which he did in fine style, copying his mannerisms and attitude towards the way the country was. One of the finest performances in the film (though it is only brief) is Alan Tudyk (Serenity, Dodgeball) playing Ben Chapman, the manager for the Philadelphia Phillies who famously stood at the dugout shouting racial abuse at Robinson leading to the famed photo of him and Robinson both holding a bat. Despite however you may be a fan of the actor, he makes you hate him in his short appearance of screen. Lucas Black (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Jarhead) plays Pee Wee Reese, one of the most loved players in the game who despite death threats from fans stood beside Robinson on the field in Cincinnati, in an effort to show his fans that he supported Robinson fully regardless.
With a spectacular score, cast and visual style. 42 is an essential watch as it tackles the issues of racism in not only baseball but the country at the time.