Thursday, January 14, 2016

Concussion (2015) - 8 stars out of 10

Concussion (2015) - 8 stars out of 10

"Concussion" is Will Smith's finest performance.  Ever.  His accent is flawless and every line that he delivers resonates with conviction and emotion.  This film may not have been good enough to earn any Oscar nominations on its own, but it is robbery that Will Smith was not nominated for his performance.  You can’t even tell that he is acting.  He completely embodies this character and you'll never believe that this is the same guy from "Fresh Prince" and "Men in Black."  Aside from being a disappointing nomination snub to Will Smith, “Concussion” is a truthful telling of the events surrounding the NFL and CTE.  They didn't have to add any extra drama to this true story to make it interesting as it paints the NFL in a pretty ugly light, particularly commissioner Roger Goodell.  If you are not familiar with Iron Mike Webster's death, this story will shock you (as it shocked me) and make you question whether football should even be legal.  I am a big fan of football but most fans agree that restrictions need to be put in place to prevent permanent physical damage to these players.  The acting is pretty average outside of Smith and Alec Baldwin, but the true focus of this film is awareness of CTE and the uphill battle fought by forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu.  There isn’t a ton of action but I appreciate that Peter Landesman’s script sticks to the facts without adding in a bunch of fictional farfetched/overdramatic events.  The rumor is that the film was watered down to avoid creating a battle with the NFL and that could account for the lack of a "punch" that we were all expecting.  It may have even cost the film some Oscar nominations.  “Concussion” did not live up to the expectation set by its controversial content but it has to been seen for Will Smith’s best performance since “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

[Pictured: The best moment of the film.  "Tell the truth.  TELL THE TRUTH."]

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