Darrin Dewitt Henson
Omar Benson Miller
Charles S. Dutton
As a major college football fan, I was hoping for a little more to this picture.
“The Express” tells the story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), a star running back for Syracuse University who went on to be the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.
The film follows his youth, recruitment and eventual exploits on the gridiron, in which he also has to deal with racism in some parts of the country.
The unfortunate thing about “The Express” is just how downright formulaic it is. The film is simply cliche ridden from start to finish, for example, the classic harsh coach and the starry eyed dreamer of an athlete are both featured here.
That’s not to say there’s no inspiration or excitement portrayed here. The movie does include some emotional scenes here and there, but there are large portions of this picture that don’t feel as genuine.
The movie also criminally under-develops a major event in the third act that had dire consequences for the story’s protagonist.
At the very least, the movie did feature some OK performances. Dennis Quaid made a natural fit as the grizzled coach and Brown played the optimistic football player well. It just felt like their characters could have been given the depth they had in real life.
Sadly, this great story made into a mediocre film will likely be forgotten rather quickly. 2 out of 5.