- 2 hr 14 min
Race is a biographical drama film that was released in 2016, directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, and Eli Goree. The movie narrates the story of Jesse Owens, an African-American athlete who made history by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The film starts with Owens as a young man studying at Ohio State University, where he meets and becomes close friends with his coach Larry Snyder (Sudeikis). Snyder recognizes Owensâ impressive talent and trains him to become an elite athlete as he prepares for the 1936 Olympics. Owensâ success poses a challenge to the racial prejudices prevalent at the time in both the United States and Germany, as the Olympics were being held during the rise of Adolf Hitlerâs Nazi regime.
Owens is faced with unfair obstacles and racial oppression when he travels to Germany, including boycott threats from the American Olympic Committee, who were contemplating abstaining from the games entirely in protest of the Nazi regime. Despite this, Owens travels to Berlin, where he competes in the Olympics and ends up making history.
Throughout the movie, we see Owensâ struggles with race and identity, including his desire to be recognized as an athlete first and foremost, instead of as a black man in a segregated and prejudiced society, even as he faced blatant racism in both the United States and Germany. We also see snippets of the politics and propaganda of the Nazi regime woven throughout the film.
The movie portrayed Jesse Owens as a reserved, introspective character, with Stephan James delivering a strong, sober performance that embodied Owensâ calm determination in the face of adversity. Jason Sudeikis was also impressive, stepping into a more serious role as the coach who guided Owens to greatness. The two actors had great chemistry, and their friendship was touching to watch.
The filmâs production values were also noteworthy, recreating the atmosphere of 1930s America and Berlin in a realistic and authentic manner. The sporting events, in particular, were filmed with great care and skill, making them exciting and engaging even for those who may not typically be interested in sports.
However, there were some criticism holes in the plotâs delivery, such as the romantic subplot between Owens and Ruth Solomon (Shanice Banton), which felt underdeveloped and unnecessary. The relationships between Owens and his wife and children, also received relatively little screentime. The subplot of Snyderâs alcoholism could have also been developed more, as it felt somewhat forced and didnât feel essential to the filmâs plot.
In conclusion, Race is an effective and emotionally powerful biopic, with strong performances and excellent production values. The movie pays tribute to an important historical figure while also addressing the racism and prejudice that he had to overcome. Despite some of the plotâs weaknesses, it remains an engaging and thought-provoking movie for sports and history fans alike.
Overall, the film is a commendable tribute to Owens, who remains an important historical figure, and the film represented his story powerfully.
Race is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 14 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 56.