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THE EXPRESS (2008) Graphice Review

  • By John Robert
  • 10 Oct, 2008

REVIEW
The Express is based on the life of Syracuse University football player Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Dennis Quaid is a natural in this role, remember The Rookie? This role fits him. Additionally, he knows something about overcoming the odds, in the early 1990s he fought and kicked a cocaine addiction. So his heart really shows in this flick.

As for Rob Brown, this film is right down his alley, too. in all of his earlier films he has played the role of an African-American high school student who overcomes obstacles (Finding Forrester, Coach Carter, and Take the Lead). He is at it again, this time as a college student.

SYNOPSIS
Based on a true story, "The Express" follows the extraordinary life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. His fight for equality and respect forever changed the face of American sports, and his story continues to inspire new generations. Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis hurdled social and economic obstacles to become one of the greatest running backs in college football history. Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), he became a hero who superseded Jim Brown's achievements and set records that stand to this day. Decorated veteran Schwartzwalder was a Southerner with a single vision of a national championship and hardened ideas about how the world worked. But though he and Davis clashed mightily, he taught the player everything he knew about football, just as Davis helped him learn the true meaning of victory. As the growing civil rights movement divided the country in the '60s, Davis became a symbol for achievement that transcended race. Refusing to flinch from others' prejudices, he achieved all his goals—until he faced a challenge that would make most men crumble. He joined the ranks of black pioneers by teaching a generation tolerance, inspiring a movement that smashed barriers on and off the field.

Release date: October 10, 2008
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Gary Fleder
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality)
Screenwriter: Charles Leavitt
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, Omar Benson Miller, Clancy Brown, Charles S. Dutton
Genre: drama

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