Like you, I never get to every movie that I want to when they are in the theaters. Recently, my sister paid a visit and we made a few stops at the nearby Redbox and we enjoyed a few good movies. I am going to review them over the next few posts.
Today’s review deals with “Concussion” which was released this past Christmas. It is the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who works in Pennsylvania for the coroner’s office of Allegheny County where Pittsburgh is located. As most of you know, Pittsburgh is home to the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
The movie opens with Omalu, played by Will Smith, doing the autopsy of Steelers legendary center Mike Webster.
Webster died at age 50. Omalu determines that Webster suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brain denigration suffered by repeated blows to the head.
Omalu discovers other football players that died and also had CTE. He puts together research and tries to get the NFL to listen to him. But he is stopped at every turn.
There is some artistic license taken with “Concussion”, but the story is told as it essentially happened. Smith puts together a solid performance as Omalu and the part of his performance I really enjoyed was how he portrayed a person who honestly can’t understand why time stops for so many people on Sunday afternoons because of football.
I had read and kept up with the focus on concussions in football as it unfolded so “Concussion” was nothing new to me. And it would be hypocritical to say I am never going to watch college or pro football again. But I wonder what the game will look like 20, 30 years from now with parents wondering if their child should start playing it.
And if football disappeared, I would survive. There are plenty of other things to do. And is it worth the price paid for by such players as Webster?
The movie, written and directed by Peter Landesman, also stars Alec Baldwin, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson, Albert Brooks and David Morse, who gives a heart-breaking performance as Webster in his final days.
RATING — *** stars
UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .