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|Laufzeit:||Ca. 118 min.|
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1936: The black athlete Jesse Owens (Stephan James) managed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Berlin with the help of his coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis). Over two exhausting years, Owens has broken one record after another and has become a celebrated idol for many young Americans. A gold medal would be the crowning achievement of this success story. But then Owens learns that the Nazis want to use the games for their racist propaganda. For Owens, who already has to endure oppression in his home country because of his skin colour, this is a reason to boycott the games. At the last moment he decides to take part in the games despite all his reservations - a decision with which he will write history…
"Time for Legends" is the first feature film to tell the story of the exceptional sportsman Jesse Owens. Since it was clear to director Stephen Hopkins and his scriptwriters that the man's life story could not be told in two hours, they concentrated on the important events of the years 1934 to 1936, a period of great importance for Owens' career, but also for sport and the fight against racism and prejudice. What has happened in these two years is a truly exciting, stirring story. Unfortunately, Hopkins does not succeed in telling them as such.
> He loses himself too much in the conventions of common sports films and biopics to actually do justice to the greatness of history. Despite good actors, the characters degenerate into changing clichés, which is reinforced by the not exactly polished dialogues. This is entertaining over long distances and has also a quite high show value. But the dramaturgical depth that would have been necessary with these backgrounds is unfortunately sought in vain. Only in the last sequence the movie offers a really strong moment, which makes you think more and says more about racism than the two hours before. It's a shame that the rest of the movie is so caught up in clichés that it's hard to make a strong statement like this last scene.
That's not to say "time for legends" is a bad movie. There are some very stirring scenes, which are visually very well implemented. The play of leading actor Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis, who specializes in comedic roles, is also absolutely convincing over long distances. But this is not enough to cover up the many average moments and the clear weaknesses. If you don't expect anything more than a commercially knitted sports drama/biopic and if you can overlook the very one-dimensional character drawing and the many clichés, you get to watch a quite entertaining movie about one of the most important sporting events of the last century. And in this case there is no gold or silver, but bronze. Worth seeing
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