- Based on a True Story, Drama
- Peter Landesman
- Ridley Scott
- Will Smith, David Morse
- Ster Kinekor Entertainment
- DVD, Bluray
While conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster (David Morse), forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Omalu names the disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy and publishes his findings in a medical journal. As other athletes face the same diagnosis, the crusading doctor embarks on a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma.
What I thought
Will Smith takes up the daunting task of portraying yet another person in yet another ‘based on a true story’ film.
I would have thought the fact that a full contact sport causes brain damage would be obvious, but apparently we needed a weird doctor and a movie about that doctor before figuring it out. I mean…brain damage? Really? You don’t say? Who would have thought repeatedly running at full speed head first into other people could be hazardous? You learn something new every day, I tell you.
While the film isn’t among the worst I ever saw, it is at most ‘vaguely’ entertaining and Will Smith is as usual invested with as much emotion and passion as he could muster at the time gauged on how drained he is from trying to force his kids into every movie he comes close to. In fact I think every time he cries in a film it’s because he’s thinking of Jayden Smith’s future.
The story itself is a little blunted and shallow and doesn’t carry much in the form of ‘wow factor’. It’s to the point, you could guess what the entire film is about from its title and if you’re an NFL fan you’ll probably like it. I myself didn’t much care for it, but then again I don’t really know anything about American Football and care even less about injuries caused by it.
The DVD comes with an Inside The True Story Featurette (because the movie telling the true story wasn’t enough) and Commentary with director Peter Landesman.
If you really like Will Smith or really need to fill that gap on your DVD shelf feel free to purchase this one as Will Smith, even at his worst, is still The Fresh Prince and the producer still gave us other cool stuff like Alien and Blade Runner, so why not, right?
What other people thought
The film’s attempt to marry an earnest public-health expose with a corporate-malfeasance thriller and a sweet immigrant love story never comes together in a satisfying way. – Andrew Barker
Based on a true story, this drama about the doctor who challenged the NFL with evidence that the game is giving its players brain damage is shallow and unsatisfying. – Peter Bradshaw
While the movie does suffer from narrative flaws that are organic to the true story being told, it still comes together as a compelling drama anchored by a great lead performance. – Eric Eisenberg
Smith renders Omalu as a pious, if quirky, genius, one who talks to cadavers and decorates the rearview mirror of his Mercedes with a cross. – Stephanie Merry
Concussion is currently available for purchase on DVD at all major retailers country wide from.
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