42 is a movie about Jackie Robinson, who is the first black man to play in the major league in 1947. 42 is his jersey number. Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, has made it his personal mission to break the color barrier in the league and he thinks Robinson is his guy. The move is the start of a Hall of Fame career that changed baseball as we know it.
The production team behind 42 does a good job of making a movie that is fresh and suspenseful. It has an awesome hero and story that is 100 percent true. But the movie is not something that will sweep Oscar awards.
The problem with 42 is that the characters seem to be aware that they are in a biopic. This is something common with most biopics. Harrison Ford plays Rickey while Chadwick Boseman is Robinson. They feel more like robots instead of real people.
This doesn’t mean that the performances of the actors are not good. On the contrary, they are excellent. Chadwick Boseman seems like a natural baseball player. He captures Robinson’s core as a ballplayer. He might not match Robinson physically but he makes you believe he is the legendary Jackie Robinson.
The same could not be said about Harrison Ford. It looks like he is just in it for the paycheck. The good thing is that he seems to be having fun doing it. He lightens up the mood in the movie that has several uncomfortable scenes.
42 is mostly about baseball. Fans of the sport will have a great time watching the movie. After several scenes in offices at the beginning, most of it happens on the diamond. It manages to transport viewers to the time of the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, and Crosley Field. The baseball part feels real and fans will not be disappointed by it.