Set in 1940, Marshall looks at the case that made former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall famous. It involves a black man serving as a chauffeur to a wealthy couple. He was accused of repeatedly raping his employer’s wife.
The film is as flawed as the accusations. And I say that with an asterisk. I eventually liked the movie. The biggest flaw is Chadwick Boseman, who plays Marshall. He delivers most of his lines like he’s doing a comedy routine. I am not able to get used to his style.
Outside of doing Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, Boseman has made a career doing real-life people. He did singing legend James Brown in Get on Up and baseball icon Jackie Robinson in 42.
Both performances were so-so, and so is this one. Fortunately his co-star, Josh Gadd (Beauty and the Beast), picks up the slack and is the best he’s ever been as Marshall’s co-counsel.
The answer to Boseman’s bad delivery style could be director Reginald Hudlin, whose directing experience is limited to TV sitcoms. Thus the film feels more like a TV movie of the week than a major movie release.
The plus? Marshall does a wonderful job of reminding you of a major black-eye in the U.S. Justice system of the past. And Hudlin and his writers — flaws aside — make this into a nifty mystery.
Movie name: ‘Marshall’
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, Dan Stevens, Loren Willis, James Cromwell
Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It’s playing at the AMC Kennewick 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.