by Shelbie Condie
Just in time for the tail end of Black History month, Stephen Hopkins’ Race depicts the hardship and triumph of 1936 Olympian, Jesse Owens. The African American sprinter from Ohio State won a total of four gold medals at the Berlin Games, where his presence wasn’t initially accepted by the Hitler regime. As the title implies, the movie illustrates Owens' competitive sport of track and field, but also tackles the racial controversy of the time period.
Stephan James portrays the Buckeye Bullet and Jason Sudeikis, who’s more notably known for his comedy, plays Owens’ coach, Larry Snyder. Sudeikis and James represent a believable duo in which the camaraderie isn’t forced. The character development is smooth and the plot’s timeline, unlike Jesse Owens’ speed, doesn’t zip by in the blink of an eye. The film unfolds in a moderate fashion and stays true to the culture of the 1930s.
This sport story incorporates historic knowledge and modern visuals to reenact the legacy of a man who’s Olympic record remained unbroken for a quarter of a century. The ethos of this movie captivates the patriotism of being an American, yet the pathos reminds us the finish line still hovers in sight. Race is a riveting, respectable, run.
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