Finally a sports movie about racism that wasn’t all about racism. The Express is the story of Ernie Davis, the first black guy to ever win the Heisman Trophy for being the best player in college football. Davis was a superstar and a legend whose live ended all too soon. Facing challenges on the field and from the white people who hated his success, The Express did everything he could to be the best with class.
The reason why I brought up the racism stuff is because he faced many hurdles like everyone else. This film doesn’t dig deep enough for you to see it, but he struggled like most black people did during the time period. His talent though put him in a class of his own. Hit after hit, fight after fight, he got up and dusted himself off and got set to do it all over again. He never wanted the attention like some superstars whose heads get bigger as the dollar signs grow.
Ernie battled injuries both on the minor and major levels, yet led his college team to an undefeated season and his place in history with the Heisman Trophy. His coaches, played by Dennis Quaid and Clancy Brown, believable in him and did everything to protect their greatest asset, while teaching him to be a better man than those who hated him. Together they all thieved and achieved some amazing feats.
The Express is one of the better football biographies out there. It has a solid story, a lot of heart, and weighs heavy on your heart at the end. I’ve seen this before and barely remembered it. Giving a second go, the memories and the story of Ernie Davis will stick with me a little bit longer this time. 7/10