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'42' is a dull treatment of Jackie Robinson's story

'42' emphasizes Robinson's ordeal in baseball to the exclusion of everything else in his life.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / April 12, 2013

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson (l.) and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey in a scene from '42.'

D. Stevens/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP


Jackie Robinson’s trailblazing entry into Major League Baseball is given the full halo treatment in writer-director Brian Helgeland’s “42.”

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Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) stoically suffers the slings and arrows of the most noxious racism as he breaks baseball’s color line with the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey is played by Harrison Ford in a shamelessly cornball, scenery-chewing old-coot performance.

The filmmaking is TV-movie-of-the-week dull and Robinson’s ordeal is hammered home to the exclusion of virtually everything else in his life.

Grade: C- (Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language.)


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