Movie Review: ‘Race’

Review by Joseph Tucker

“Race” pays tribute to track and field star Jesse Owens while also visiting racial issues that are still prevalent today. While Stephan Jones has had supporting roles in the past, one would be wary of his lead role debut but the star handles the identity of Owens very well. More surprisingly, Jason Sudeikis who has starred primarily in comedic performances and is a former “Saturday Night Live” heavyweight, brings a snark and defiant tone to Owen’s coach, Larry Snyder, one that is appreciated.

The screenplay by Shrapnel and Waterhouse is highly focused on the prominent years of Jesse Owens and takes place during his stint at Ohio State where he breaks three world records and goes on to the 1936 Olympics in the heart of what is Nazi-ruled Germany, in order to secure four gold medals for his country.

The journey to that point is filled with Jones simply forcing himself to be compliant with racial oppression but when he is asked to boycott the Olympics due to Germany attempting to eradicate a race, he must face the issue head on as a leader. As you know from history, Owens decides to take the trip to Germany in order to show the world that “there’s no black and white. There’s only fast and slow.”

Owen’s walking into the massive arena in Germany really shows you the scope of the ordeal and even though the CGI’d crowd could have been refined, it still has an emotional effect on you. Another unexpected pull on the heartstrings is the relationship between Snyder and Owens. It starts out as an arms-length, coach-player relationship but ends up evolving into a close knit friendship that is the icing on top of the cake for the film. The dynamic between James and Sudeikis is fantastic and shows prevalence in today’s society.

The title of the movie is a double edged sword and this is apparent all throughout the movie. In a time where racial issues are at a high, “Race” really cuts through it all and brings a racial balance. That is what is important.

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