Director Spike Lee analyzes the multi-faceted football legend, groundbreaking actor and restless humanitarian in exhaustive detail. Beneath his stern, rock-solid exterior, Brown is an amazingly human figure, quietly thoughtful and passionately dedicated to what he believes in. I found it motivational just listening to the man speak, whether he's fondly remembering his football heyday, discussing the implications of his acting career or admitting his personal faults as a partner and parent. He's not without a few blemishes, but which of us is? Coming into this with the expectation of little more than a rose-tinted lesson in sports history, I was surprised when the discussion about Brown's athletic career barely took up a third of the running time. Jim is much more than an athlete-turned B-Movie actor, and Lee expertly coaxes this notoriously reclusive character into explaining why. A touch long-winded and egotistical, just like the man himself, it's mostly worth the investment.
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