Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Express Review

Its hard to believe as Michelle picks out the curtains for the White House bedroom and Malia and Sasha choose their puppy that there was a time when people would at the very least, stop, point and stare at a fellow human being because they have a different skin colour. Its nice to know that we have films like The Express which help us remember that we can actually change stupid peoples minds and achieve something a little closer to a human race.

The Express is not the story of shit newspaper obsessed with Princess Diana and other dead white girls but rather the story of Ernie Davis (played by an impressive Rob Brown) one of the first black college football stars. A man who not only achieved sporting greatness but also, with the help of his teammates and coach, set some of the first plays toward tolerance. While it seems slightly weak that he did it by running with a pigskin, he did what he did best and never gave up. Thats a pretty good goal for anyone.

Its worth noting that you don't need to know a single thing about US Football to enjoy the film. In fact even if you're not keen at all on the idea of lots of grown men 'tackling' each other for a chance to hold onto a weird shaped ball (and I am not) there is so much more to be enjoyed (but I will admit there is a certain grace in the running back skipping around the opposition like a Gazelle on speed). Instead the real drama is off the pitch and in the changing room with Dennis Quaid showing how and why he's still going after many years in the acting world.

I'd even be happy to see him nominated for some supporting awards later in the year, people have one for less. The film as a whole is also prime for Oscar Season considering it contains not only triumph over adversity, racism beaten, sporting acheivements but also 'disease of the week' too. I can't see it getting there though for there are faults, the top of which is the myriad of subplots (including doting grandfather, negro polar bears and the start of the NAACP) all fighting to get a look in. But its easily as accomplished (and cliched) a biopic as Ray or Walk The Line and if Ernie Davis was a more familiar name it might have gotten the praise they both had.

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