Based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, The Express is a sports film with a backdrop of racial injustice.

Starring Rob Brown (Finding Forrester, Coach Carter) as Davis and Dennis Quaid as his whip-cracking, hardnosed coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, the film has all the elements of greatness that existed in Remember the Titans, Glory Road or The Natural, but falls devastatingly short. Perhaps director Gary Fleder’s extensive TV resume is to blame, but The Express seems more like a Movie of the Week than a feature film.

Stiff, cheesy, poorly acted and thirty minutes too long, it’s a crying shame that a story as fascinating and heart wrenching as Davis’ received such poor treatment.

Grade: C-