Centered around the most known part of Jackie Robinson,s life, 42 tells his story of being the first African american baseball player to play for The Brooklyn Dodgers & battle against racism during the 1940s. The story begins with Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) an executive for the Brooklyn Dodgers,who makes the decision to bring an African American baseball player to the team (something which had never been done prior). Rickey selects Jackie Robinson(Chadwick Boseman) who he believes is the best African American player in baseball . The story gives a short showcase of Robinson playing in the minor leagues before being signing his Dodgers contract. Robinson begins playing & training with the Montreal Royals( a practice team for the Dodgers), shorty after Robinson is called up to the main Dodgers roster. His talent is starting to be seen by more people & championed by other African Americans. Despite his talent & skill, most of the white population, other team members & rival team players dislike him coming into there world. Robinson tries to overcome the odds put against him in order to achieve success.
Similar to Lincoln (2012) in regards to not telling the leads entire story, rather an important event,42 is not flawless but is one of the best biographical films in recent memory. The film begins with the introduction of the major characters giving little or no back story, which gives our leads little attachment. In saying this however Boseman (a relative unknown) shines as Jackie Robinson, while Ford (still portraying a grumpy old man) does great work. When Jackie is in Florida training, the story is somewhat interesting,but you have little care for anyone. As he moves up the ranks & the film moves along, you really begin to connect with him as a person. Alan Tudyk performance as Philadelphia Phillies manager, Ben Chapman makes you route for Jackie even more. Chapman is extremely dis-likable due to being very raciest & openly shouts abuse at Jackie while playing baseball. Brian Helgeland (the Director) has created a great excellent look at this time period in american history, showing how the races where divided. The film does end rather suddenly leaving you wanting more.
Overall 42: The True Story of an American Legend has great lead performances (Boseman & Ford) along with an excellent look into Robinson,s story during this time period.