Hidden Figures is exactly the movie you expect it to be. Don’t get me wrong. I think the story is a great one. It is an unknown bit of history that deserved to be told. I just think it deserved to be a little less formulaic.
So what was wrong with it? Even if you can forgive the veracity of the story and believe that three black girlfriends teamed up with win the space race and that John Glenn waited on the launch pad so Taraji P. Henson could confirm the trajectory figures, you have to question the simplistic storytelling.
The problem with a Disneyized version of a “based on true events” movie is that so many people take these films as historical truth. It would be a good idea to outlaw the “based on” labeling and only allow true stories to say simple – true story. Or maybe a labeling that says something like “loosely based on a true story” or more correctly “historical fiction.”
This is a good homage to the many black men and women who played a role in the space program (as well as many other important programs) but not a true story. With that off the plate – how do I view the film?
The casting was great as all the female leads are solid actresses. They kept it interesting and kept the audience engaged. The only real miscast was probably Jim Parsons (Big Bang’s Sheldon) as Paul Stafford. I just couldn’t buy him in that role because it just seemed like Sheldon without the smart @ss comments.
It was a fun story. Take the color issue out and the sex issue out and it is a triumphant story of the little guy working hard and making an important contribution in an important job. A good story and a fun watch, but nothing new, nothing inspiring and nothing worth a repeat viewing. I guess I am just disappointed because I was expecting so much more.
RATING 6 out of 10
By Chris Doelle
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