Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Jackie Robinson

The story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the sharecropper's son from Cairo, Georgia who became a standout athlete at UCLA and a Negro League star before being chosen to integrate the Major Leagues as a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Ken Burns covered Robinson's story at length in his sweeping 1994 Baseball docuseries and thus revisits many of his same tracks in this recent four hour update while still bringing much to the table in the film's second half, which depicts the ballplayer's politically minded lesser known life after retirement. Again Burns provides a wealth of great footage and Keith David serves nicely doing narration duties, but a flood of lackluster commentators and a storytelling approach that resembles a civics lesson are major strikes on this count.
** 1/2 out of ****