42 (2013) ***

Being that 42 is the inspirational story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, one would have expected the filmmaking to show some more courage and daring. Instead, watching 42 feels much like watching a Disney flick; despite some intense racial moments, it's all very sterilized to fit all audiences. Writer / director Brian Helgeland created a beautiful to watch Big Screen TV biopic drama that could have been much more. With that said, Chadwick Boseman gives an excellent performance as Jackie Robinson, second only by Harrison Ford, portraying Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers brave team executive who signed up Robinson. 42 does highlight that the Robinson story is as much Rickey's story, and Harrison Ford does the character justice. Yet, by the time Rickey finally reveals his full motivation for breaking the color barrier by hiring the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, it sounds too weak even if true. That is a complete miss on the part of the filmmaker. Because of this and other plot-pacing issues, 42 feels much longer than its 128 minutes. Nevertheless, 42 remains a notable film because of its subject matter; a film I will likely show my kids as a lesson in history, equality and tolerance.