Stephen Hopkins’ RACE, with Stephan James in the lead, uncovers the story of Jesse Owens running into fame at Berlin 1936 Olympics.
There was a need for a film about Jesse Owen… Now there is a need for a good one…
Partly distorting history, Joe Schrapel and Anna Waterhouse would-be screenplay is a conveniently inaccurate piece of melodrama losing too much screen time, in the first part, on subplots and love interests since it has nothing captivating to share on the major points of its subject except when distorting reality. It’s so inadequate in trying to sum up a historical moment and era that toward the end, in an epilogue, we have about three minutes of text to read in order to make up for the failed two hour job we just witnessed.
Although the technical staff obviously knew their tools and James does some good things with the part (with some supportive performances by Jeremy Irons and William Hurt), keeping the ship from sinking, the overall direction is wooden and relies on Rachel Portman’s unnecessary heavy and pompous Marvel heroes-Like sounding score. It’s a great subject with a mediocre output.The significance of a great film highlighting Owens achievement is real, but it is yet to come and Race might just blow it.
The man deserved better, period.