The Announcement (2012)

TV Movie   |    |  Documentary

The Announcement (2012) Poster

An in depth look at the career of basketball player Ervin "Magic" Johnson and the days leading up to and the years following his announcement to the world that he was HIV positive.


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Nelson George


Aaron Cohen

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12 March 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Good Look at The Announcement
The Announcement (2012)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Anyone old enough to remember Magic Johnson's shocking news conference announcing that he was HIV positive and would have to retire from the NBA are going to remember all the controversy around the subject at the time it happened. Twenty years later Johnson tells his story and we get a lot of behind-the-scenes stories as to what was going through his mind leading up to being told the news, having to break it to his then pregnant wife, telling his teammates and of course telling the world. THE ANNOUNCEMENT takes a pretty hard look at the subject, although I think the first twenty-minutes are a bit too sweet for their own good. I was a little surprised at them adding some sugar to the "high life" of what would eventually get Johnson into this position. With that said, once the stuff with the announcement kicks in this turns into a truly dramatic experience even though you know the outcome. I'm not sure how much of this was already known but this was the first time that I had heard stories about what Johnson was doing when he found out, how his teammates found out and some of the other controversy that would happen after he announced it. This documentary really does remind people how far we've come in the past twenty years simply by the original reaction, which included him having to retire, people being afraid that they could get the virus through sweat and the fear he put into people. Those who aren't overly familiar with the event will see this as a great documentary because it covers pretty much every aspect of what happened. The tragedy of the events, as Johnson says, have pretty much been forgotten because of what he went on to do with his life. As he says in his own words, when people think of him today it's not because of the virus but for other things that he's done. This film really does a good job at warning people about the virus and the point that it can happen to anyone certainly drives home.

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