Directed by | Peter Landesman
Produced by | Ridley Scott, Giannina Facio, David Woltroff, Larry Shuman, Elizabeth Cantillon
Screenplay by | Peter Landesman
Starring | Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Arliss Howard, Paul Reiser, Luke Wilson, Adewale-Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Morse, Albert Brooks
Run Time | 122 minutes
Certificate | 12A
Plot | Concussion is the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Smith), a forensic pathologist who discovers a particular kind of brain degeneration suffered by professional American Footballers. When confronted with the evidence, the National Football League (NFL) moves to discredit him and suppress the research.
Review | The story of Dr. Bennet Omalu is a fascinating and very important one. Thanks to his discovery and subsequent research, the NFL now has enhanced concussion protocols. This must have felt like a million miles away in the days of his initial discovery, when the NFL fought tooth-and-nail to discredit Omalu and his research.
In terms of this story being converted to the big screen, Peter Landesman does a job that is simply ‘not bad’. For such potentially inflammatory material, the film rarely feels like it is leaving the middle-of-the road, which is a shame.
Still, Will Smith puts in a strong, amiable performance in the lead role. Unlike the majority of the supporting cast, there is a genuine sincerity (and a little depth) to his Omalu. In support, Alec Baldwin fares best.
The Verdict | Will Smith’s strong central performance elevates an otherwise run-of-the-mill sports drama to something a little more decent.