Friday, December 25, 2015

Concussion Review - 3 Stars

Will Smith loves roles about average guys, taking on the powers that be. In “Concussion,” Smith plays real life Doctor Bennet Omalu, a brilliant pathologist whose curiosity leads him to investigate the death of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. This one-time NFL star dies homeless and confused at the age of 50. Omalu goes on to connect the deaths of numerous NFL stars to CTE-chronic traumatic encephalopathy - death by a lifetime of hard hits on the head. For his trouble, Omalu earns the complete wrath of the NFL. The organization does its best to bully him into silence or a retraction. “Concussion” doesn’t pull any punches. Given the NFL’s public missteps and gaffes over the past year, Smith and “Concussion” paint a target on a most deserving organization. “Concussion” continues a valuable discussion, which will one day lead to a change in the way we think about professional football. The film feels a little like a documentary or a “Lifetime” movie of the week; but Smith hits the right note, and gets great support from actors Alex Baldwin, Albert Brooks, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Does it deliver what it promises? David versus Goliath story. Is it entertaining? Presented well. Is it worth the price of admission? This is good, solid movie making.