Jackie Robinson was a true American hero, forging ahead against the more outspoken racism of the day and demonstrating that skill trumped color.
TV soap star Chadwick Boseman does a great job portraying Robinson and Nicole Beharie is admirable as his wife Rachel. Harrison Ford’s first real test as a character actor, playing Dodger owner Branch Rickey, is a little rickety at first, but mellows out as he relaxes into it. And, Alan Tudyk does a fine turn as the bigoted manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Even if you’re not into baseball, 42 is a great history lesson for African-Americans and Whites alike. Though this era was a little before my time, I do remember as a little boy visiting the South and wanting to go into the “Colored” bathroom because I thought it would be…well…, more colorful. I was, thankfully, oblivious to the real meaning. But, most viewers might not even be aware this type of segregation ever existed. I noted that the chatty couple seated behind me went silent as the movie progressed.
I feared that 42 might be too pretentious or self-important, but that was not the case. I give it a 4 out of 5 for the fan base and 3+ for the non-sportive crowd.