Jackie Robinson: Built to Last, a man who can handle the pressure, the threats, the insults. This is the primary theme of a new film, 42, from writer/director Brian Hegeland (A Knight’s Tale) It’s a theme that you could apply to this Jackie Robinson biopic – I’d wager it, too, is a film built to last. Chadwick Boseman (Persons Unkown) is fantastic as Jackie Robinson, the first colored man to play national league baseball.
I could go through a laundry list of particularly good aspects of this Robinson biopic, But I would likely include the entire credits. A few honorable mentions: the casting, rounded out by Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Bade Runner), Nicole Beharie (Shame) and Andre Holland (1600 Penn) was superb. Every single actor brought their character to life and, aided by the cinematography and sound effects, created a truly engaging picture of these defining two seasons in baseball history.
The only real criticism I have of the Robinson biopic is that at 2 hours and 2 minutes in length the picture felt a bit too long. To be fair, as an editor myself, I didn’t see much opportunity to cut it down. For the amount of material the film covered, it was largely necessary and the length served to properly develop not only the plot but the characters and their relationships.
Sports fan or not, the film is fun, interesting and engaging – and that is outside of The Cardinals’ good amount of screen time. All in all: 42 is film built to last.