Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Review: The Express

I was totally irresponsible tonight, and ditched my work to go out and see a movie. I ended up watching The Express, which is based on the life of Ernie Davis. Davis was the first African American to receive the Heisman Trophy. And while I know very little about football, even I know the Heisman trophy is a big deal.

In general I found the movie inspiring and quite watchable. I had to agree with my brother David, whom I watched the movie with - at times it felt a bit long. We agreed that this was mostly due to the fact that it had about 3 distinct endings. None of which I'll give away here.

Reading through Ernie's biography it's interesting to see which aspects of the movie were both unrealistic and true. Like the fact that his white teammates boycotted the Cotton Bowl Trophy Ceremony because the black players weren't allowed to attend, or the fact that Ernie really did meet President JFK after being awarded the Heisman. This all seemed like Hollywood glitter, but was in fact the real deal.

I did watch the movie with a slightly different appreciation given our most recent political events. It's hard to believe that 50 years ago it was unusual for a black athlete to receive a prestigious award, and just a few days ago we elected our first black president. Amazing.

I give this film a 7.5/10 for being an important story about a remarkable man. I won't promise that it'll be easy to watch, but it's worth the effort.

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