The Great Debaters Review

July 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm (Movies)

Yea…My local video store didn’t have 10,000 BC, and some goofball erased all the other DVDs (hope you guys got that joke), plus there were no copies of Vantage Point, Spiderwick Chronicles, or even Drillbit Taylor so I ended up taking a chance with The Great Debaters. The story follows this school Wiley College back in the racial hate-filled 1935 during the Great Depression. This small town college’s debate team, led my Denzel Washington, is probably the best part of the movie, but would have been made better if they had just given him more time on screen. The debate team ends up being narrowed down to *Looking up names* James Farmer Jr, Henry Lowe, and Samantha Brooke, who are then called to the monumental task of facing Harvard. I’ve gotta say both Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington do great jobs in this movie. The movie did a pretty good job at providing that racial hatred tension, and provided some fairly graphic scenes that made me jump, but you’re hearing this from the guy who cries every time he watches Extreme Makeover Home Edition, you be the judge. The movie also does a fairly good job at getting you to root for the underdog, and is fairly inspirational towards the end. The movie spans a running time a little over 2 hrs, which can feel pretty long considering it’s a movie about debate. Not to say I didn’t like the movie, it just kinda dragged on. For those of you who maybe don’t like slow pacing in movies like in Dan in Real Life *cough* DS *cough*, this is probably not the movie for you. However, if you’re looking for a pretty good drama about the underdog and you like Washington and Whitaker, this is a good rent for a Friday night. Speaking of the slower nature, I realized something later on the in the movie that was pretty funny. Towards the end of movies you’re supposed to have this big climatic ending where there’s a big competition and everything… Then I realized… They’re talking… That’s the climax.  Despite that, as I stated earlier this is a good film for fans of the genre or for those rainy days, however in a summer full of fast paced thrill rides, this one doesn’t  really fit in, however it is still an inspirational emotional movie. 

3 1/2 out of 5


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