So, one of the movies that I was most excited about seeing this year was Reginald Hudlin’s ‘Marshall’, and honestly, could not be more disappointed in the outcome. Overall, I do not think the film was flat out awful, but it missed on a few major things that really ruined it for me at the end of the day.
For starters, I was not a huge fan of the casting of Josh Gad in one of the lead roles in the film playing lawyer Sam Friedman. It seemed really out of place for him and it did not really fit the tone that I felt like the movie was going to have throughout, which leads me to my main complaint about the movie, its tone.
For me, sitting in the theater I was expecting this movie to be somewhat emotional, considering the subject matter, and what I got was something that I did not feel emotion to at all. It seemed like they tried to toss in some really cheap laughs throughout the movie during times where I felt like they should not have been, like after Gad’s character gets the hell beat out of him by racists who do not like that he is involved with this case. The lighter tone in general would not have been that much of a problem if the background of the movie was a man on trial for rape, which cause me to wonder why they felt the need to put some of that stuff in there. This is a movie that had Chadwick Boseman’s Marshall character not even allowed to speak in the court room because he was black, and yet, because of the lighter mood of the movie throughout that did not really hit me during the movie.
I believe that Thurgood Marshall’s story could be told overall in a better way than this movie managed to do. It seemed like the movie was just as much about Sam Friedman and his story as it was Marshall’s, which is not really what I thought I was going to see. With such a serious subject matter they should have tossed the jokes aside for a much heavier movie, which I think would have resonated more with me.