Movie Reviews

Published on December 25th, 2015 | by Jennifer Fiduccia

0

Concussion

Concussion has quite a few big names starring in it, as well as a few I
had never heard of.

The main cast is as follows: Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, Gugu
Mbatha-Raw as Prema Mutiso, Alec Baldwin as Dr. Julian Bailes, Albert
Brooks as Dr. Cyril Wecht, David Morse
as Mike Webster, Matthew Willig as Justin Strezelczyk, Paul Reiser as
Dr. Elliot Pellman, Arliss Howard as Dr. Joseph Maroon, Luke Wilson as
Roger Goodell, Mike O’Malley as Daniel Sullivan, Hill Harper as Spellman
Jones, Eddie Marsan as Dr. Steven DeKosky, Stephen Moyer as Dr. Ron
Hamilton, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Dave Duerson.

Dr. Bennet Omalu works at the Pittsburgh coroner’s office as a forensic
pathologist along with Dr. Cyril Wecht and Daniel Sullivan. Omalu, a
highly educated Doctor hailing from Nigeria, strives to stride in the
footsteps of Dr. Wecht, and must contend with the derision thrown his
way by Sullivan.

Based on true events, the story follows Omalu in his quest to find out
the true cause of death of “Iron Mike” Webster, and subsequently team
mates and other football players that seem to go crazy for no obvious
reason.

Will Smith takes this role and immerses himself in it. His accent is
believable, his mannerisms are believable, his portrayal of the
character as a whole drew me and made me BELIEVE it.

The supporting cast are all really really great as well. Gugu Mbatha-Raw
as Smiths love interest, Prema is probably one of the quietest
characters in the movie, yet she portrays herself as Omalu’s staunch
supporter straight through the whole film.

Albert Brooks as Dr. Cyril Wecht gave a brilliant performance as a cut
and dry no-nonsense Chief Medical Examiner as well. He supports Omalu’s
research even when he must see that it may be detrimental to his own
career, and indeed, in the end, his support of Omalu does almost cost
him his entire career.

Dr. Omalus research, spending his own money to run testing in order to
find the cause of death of Mike Webster, puts him directly in the
crosshairs of the NFL. His subsequent discovery of and diagnoses of CTE
(Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in Webster, and other NFL players
that died by their own hands or in tragic accidents due to basically
going crazy, threatened the NFL and its entire existence, or so they
thought.

Alec Baldwin gives a great performance as a man struggling between his
love of a sport and his guilt over sending players back into a game when
they were hurt. Early in the film he is shown to say “what am I
missing”. He has run the tests he knows to run, but cannot get to the
bottom of what is clearly affecting his players. He helps Dr. Omalu in
his quest to bring the truth before the NFL and the media and the
public.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Dave Duerson has only brief moments on film,
but his contribution to the movie and his final contribution to Omalus
research at the time of his death, helps bring CTE to the forefront of
the media eye, which in turn forces the NFL to address the findings, at
least ion some level.

Will Smith is up for a Golden Globe for his role in this film and I have
to say that in my opinion it is well deserved.

I loved the movie, it had my full attention from beginning to end, and I
thought that it was very well done. It showed the seedy underside of the
NFL and the extents to which big multi-million dollar companies will go
to in order to hide any truths that might threaten their way of doing
business. During the movie I murmured under my breath to my husband
“This reminds me of the crap the tobacco industry pulled when it was
trying to deny that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer”, and I was not
surprised when in some of the later clips there were voice overs heard
from a congressional hearing basically saying the same thing.

I would give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.


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