Express, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, Omar Benson Miller, Clancy Brown and Charles S. Dutton. Drama. Written by Charles Leavitt. Directed by Gary Fleder.

FILM 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 football, 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 Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), he became a hero who superseded Jim Browns achievements and set records that stand to this day.

PREVIEW REVIEW: As Ive said a hundred times, the structure of the sports genre is the same in a thousand movies: put-upon underdog makes good, has to win the big game, and the final play is always done in slo-mo. But we come back for more because the sports film is used as a metaphor for life and reveals the character within we all strive to possess. So, while we get yet another civics lesson about how mistreated Blacks were in the sports world, and in the U.S. in general, we are also given a hopeful premise based on Americans eventual sense of justice to correct its faults.

Screenwriter Charles Leavitt and director Gary Fleder keep the action lively and the message balanced by an entertaining narrative. Dennis Quaid and Rob Brown are outstanding as coach Schwartzwalder and Ernie Davis.

The script does contain a few racial epithets, but they are used to point out ignorance and a wrong that still needed to be corrected. The profaning of Gods name on the other hand, cannot be defended. The coach, who at one point leads the team in the Lords prayer, yells Gods name in anger followed by a curse in several scenes. Even the lead does it once or twice. Ultimately this left me cold. For the film does its best to say we should treat one another with respect. Sadly, our Creator is not shown the same regard.

DVD Alternative:Remember the Titans. Denzel Washington and Will Patton star as high school coaches who mold a group of angry, unfocused boys into a dynamic, winning team, as well as guide them into becoming responsible young men. Their determination to work together and win brought together a town torn by prejudice and intolerance. I am pleased to tell you that one of the athletes is a Christian and he is not mocked for his beliefs. He even has an effect on his fellow teammates. After a big game, one of his friends puts a Bible verse to song, with the other players repeating the lyric. those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Bigoted and hostile statements made by Whites toward Blacks; name calling by both White adults and kids.

Obscene Language: Around 10 uses of the s-word; the N-word and other epithets are aimed at Blacks by bigoted Whites, both adults and kids.

Profanity: Eight profane uses of Gods name.

Violence: Football field frenzy; a brawl erupts between two team members over lack of respect; White boys threaten to beat up Black kids. Blood: Some blood from his nose as Ernie discovers he is sick.

Sex: Ernie and his love interest are seen kissing while lying on a bed.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Beer drinking at a team celebration.

Other: Davis family is seen reading the Bible and praying.

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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