In the 1930s, Jesse Owens is a young man who is the first in his family to go to college. Going to Ohio State to train under its track and field coach, Larry Snyder, the young African American athlete quickly impresses with his tremendous potential that suggests Olympic material. However, as Owens struggles both with the obligations of his life and the virulent racism against him, the question of whether America would compete at all at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany is being debated vigorously. When the American envoy finds a compromise persuasive with the Third Reich to avert a boycott, Owens has his own moral struggle about going. Upon resolving that issue, Owens and his coach travel to Berlin to participate in a competition that would mark Owens as the greatest of America's Olympians even as the German film director, Leni Riefenstahl, locks horns with her country's Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, to film the politically embarrassing fact for posterity.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field's highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete. See more »
Berlin's "Hunger Fork" memorial is visible in the shot of flying into Templehof Central Airport for the 1936 Olympics. The memorial is dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives during the Berlin Airlift, which started in 1948. See more »
A great film on an amazing story that has a really good use of CGI
You don't want to throw around the word epic and overuse it, but when you make a movie about the Olympics, it's usually a movie about one athlete taking on the world (sport depending). For Jesse Owens this concept is met with more difficulty. A black man barely welcomed in his own backyard gets the chance to run in the greatest competition of all time, in another country that does not accept him as well, and he does it and helps change the face of the world forever.
Stephen James did a fantastic job playing Jesse Owens. He gave a lot a heart to it, which was important. It's a great reflection of who Owens was.
Becoming a huge fan of the work of Jason Sudeikis who plays Jesse's Coach, Larry Snyder. The well known funny man takes the same position as Sylvester Stallone did in Creed with this dramatic supporting role, and it was a decent turn to see him do something a little different.
Also want to give credit to Jeremy Irons who plays Avery Brundage of the U.S Olympic committee. Race mostly focus on the life of Owens up to the 1936 games, but also has a great side story about America dealing with the Nazi Regime with the Olympics being held in their hometown. Irons is the center of this sub plot and does a good job making it interesting.
For what it is, I'm also fairly impressed with the CGI being used to built the 1930s in this movie. Race is a big movie and the visual effects help make it look better. I wish the budget was bigger so that the effects could be better, but it's very impressive for a 5 million dollar film.
The only odd thing that was distracting is that it looks like they used visual effects to replace stunt men in the movie. Instead of getting a stunt double who looked fast enough to play Owens, they have parts in Race that just look like the took footage of Stephen James and speed it up to make his running faster. Not sure about this method, and others were they used digital images for high jumps, or a least that's what it looks like.
But overall, Race impressed me. It's a good tear jerker that puts a a smile on your face. Truly an epic movie about overcoming the biggest obstacles to be the very best.
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