Village Jam Factory - Wednesday 24 February 2016, 6:45pm
Running time: 123m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Mature themes and coarse language)
Release date: 18/02/16
Rating: 5.5/10 (2.5/5 ME, 3/5 DP)
Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) is a talented forensic pathologist with attention to detail and an unconventional approach to his work. When he performs an autopsy on former NFL player Mike Webster (David Morse) he uncovers the dark secret locked in the footballer's brain with the injuries sustained during years of the playing the brutal sport. It soon appears that this is not an isolated case as more former footballers succumb to their injuries. Former team physician Dr Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin) becomes an unlikely ally as Bennet reveals the secret the NFL and its supporters are unwilling to hear.
Based on a 2009 article from GQ magazine (please tell me there's a film in preproduction about the return of the reversible trench coat), Concussion is an interesting story with great performances that falls short in its execution. The romantic subplot is interesting and the story about the cultural differences and challenges Bennet and Prema (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) face in their new home would've been an interesting story on its own, but here is feels like unnecessary detail that slows the film rather than enhance it. Despite the superfluous details of the plot and the slow pace, the performances are very good particularly Golden Globe nominee Will Smith, Albert Brooks and EVEN Alec Baldwin. Yes, Alec Baldwin. An interesting film (and probably more interesting if you had an interest in the sport) but it's a shame it was a bit too long to keep it engaging. Not quite a touchdown. (ME)
Guest review: Honest Rob
Concussion is a true David & Goliath battle between Dr Bennet Omalu and the National Football League of America. Dr Bennet Omalu is the pathologist who first linked head hits suffered in American Football to CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) basically a head injury that would make some people go crazy even to the point of hurting themselves others. Dr Bennet first noticed this occurrence while performing an autopsy on one of Pittsburgh’s favourite sons Mike Webster who led the Pittsburgh Steeler’s to four Super Bowl victories. Mike died at age 50 from a heart attack after taseing himself numerous times. However Mike wasn’t the only former pro footballer that turned up dead under strange circumstances so Dr Bennet worked out the truth and then he had a massive fight on his hands. Trying to prove that playing lots of NFL can lead to eventually developing CTE with horrible consequences. So do you think that the NFL would just let this one slide and allow someone to blame the sport publicly? No no, of course not! They're a huge corporation with million's upon billions to loose from this shaming. So they work on their own tactics which, as you can imagine, aren’t so nice. I don’t want to give away any more so that’s enough of the story.
Ok, who will enjoy this? Anyone who likes NFL or a true underdog story; luckily I like both. Concussion has some great actors namely Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, David Morse and not enough time on screen in my opinion for Luke Wilson. I have to say Will Smith did well as Dr Bennet Omalu which was pretty easy because he was such a nice guy. I will say it was a little strange not seeing Will playing the usual ultra confident/arrogant physical presence and ladies man like usual. Anyway I gave it and 8 with a well done to David Morse who is a great character actor and played Mike Webster really well. (Honest Rob)
73rd Golden Globe Awards