Concussion is a film that tells the story of the man who discovered a link between playing American football and brain damage. Dr. Bennet Omalu was the man who discovered this, but it wasn’t as easy as just telling the world. The NFL it seems tried to keep him quiet. Dr. Bennet Omalu has the choice to either stand up for himself and what he believes, or see his reputation ruined and his discovery lost.
Concussion is a well put together film about a man standing up for himself and what he believes in no matter how hard it seems, especially when taking on something as big as the NFL and possibly going against American culture itself. But what Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered was far more important than the NFL, it was all about a man’s health and well being and it’s shocking to see that money is more important than that. But it clearly is for many people and that’s what Dr. Bennet Omalu is up against.
Will Smith does well in the role as Dr. Bennet Omalu and it’s one of the few Will Smith movies I can name that he changes his accent in, which is noticeable from the start. It’s a good performance from him, but the dramatic side of it may be lacking for some people as Dr. Bennet Omalu is a very reserved person and there’s not much for Will Smith to really show here. Even though he does well, it might get a bit boring for some. Supporting characters are all interesting with Alec Baldwin’s presence felt and Gugu Mbatha-Raw being quite noticeable as well.
Concussion comes directed by Peter Landesman who does a good job here but my main gripe with the film comes with the ending. I apologize for minor spoilers in the following lines. While for the most part we get this impression that America/the NFL is more interested in $$$$ over a football players well being, in the end of the film when things are wrapping up, it all changes into well, you see America is great after all…. I think it’s just to get a happy ending out of all this and it felt strange, there’s also quite a few cheesy America is great lines thrown in all over the place which are okay, but aren’t so necessary.
This film does one thing very and it’s really the most important thing out of it and it’s recognizing Dr. Bennet Omalu’s achievements and his research and bringing attention to an issue that probably isn’t talked about very much at all. For that I love that a film can do this and there is certainly a lot you can learn by watching Concussion. I’m happy that something like this can be made.
Overall I would recommend watching this if you’re interested in American football and knowing more about the impact that playing it can have on the human body. Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discoveries were important and knowing the story behind it and seeing how the NFL and many Americans reacted to the news was very interesting. While I won’t exactly say go and rush to your nearest cinema to see this as the big screen won’t add much to the movie experience, I would say it would be a good choice to rent when it releases as it isn’t that bad at all.