My Review: I've often wondered why there hasn't been a movie about Jackie Robinson before now. You'd think a story as powerful as his would be one that would have about as many incarnations as Batman. Sure, there have been made for TV specials and other biographies, but 42 is the first real movie that really looks at his rise to the majors and the impact that he had on not only baseball but also the world.
42 is a very enjoyable movie. There are some moments of very strong language so parents might want to use some discretion before bringing really young children to the theater. That being said, it could also be used as a very teachable moment. I don't think 42 is a "great" film, but it's good. Any baseball fan will enjoy hearing the story. There are times when I felt like they didn't dig deep enough. I think the goal of the film was to be as crowd pleasing as possible. There's nothing wrong with that at all. You won't walk out of the theater feeling like you wasted your money.
There are two things about the film that really stood out for me. The first was Harrison Ford. I've felt like Ford has been mailing it in for years. He's looked so bored on the screen. Not in 42. Ford takes on the role as Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, and he truly seems to enjoy himself. He's actually acting for once and he does a great job.
The other moment that stuck in my mind was a poignant scene involving Jackie Robinson and the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, Ben Chapman (Played by Alan Tudyk). Chapman unleashes an almost unvelievable string of racial slurs to Robinson as he comes up to bat in a game. I felt as though it was the first real moment in the film where the director acknowledged the harsh environment Robinson would have been facing on a day-to-day basis. Some of the things Chapman said had me cringing, but that's what reality was at the time.
Overall I think 42 is a fine film. Not great, but still very worthy of a watch.