Sports films come in two basic types. There are the ones that follow the template, that give us the underdog, beat them down, cue the montage, and then spend the last act on the big game that is won or lost on the final play. Those are sports movies that really are movies about sports. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is a second breed of sports movie that takes the genre but rejects the form. These are the films that are telling stories, in which sport is the backdrop but not the point. 42 seems to be that sort of film.>
I like the decision in the trailer to use the Jay-Z instead of something period appropriate. Rather than being an anachronistic disconnect, it sets the mood for storytelling that is meant to tell a story that speaks to us today instead of just being a window to a past.
Plus, it’s got Harrison Ford taking a stab at a serious meaningful role for what seems like the first time since he told Gary Oldman to get off of his plane. Remember when Ford wasn’t a caricature? I’d like to say I’m rooting for a late career resurgence for Ford, but the price might very well be another couple of Indiana Jones disasters, and I’m not sure that is worth it.