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By Jess Fenton
14th February 2016

Baseball may be America’s favourite pastime, but football is what makes the world turn. It has everything: violence, loyalty, competition, idols and, most importantly, it has money... lots and lots and lots and lots of money. The NFL isn’t just a sport, it’s an institution, a lifestyle, and a corporation. So when someone comes along and threatens all of this, regardless of how right they are, the NFL doesn’t take too kindly to them. Enter Doctor Bennet Omalu.

In 2002, Forensic Pathologist Dr Omalu (Will Smith) performed the autopsy on Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Hall of Famer Mike Webster. Despite the autopsy appearing normal, Omalu knew that a man of his age and physical condition should not have died in such a way. Financing further tests himself, Dr Omalu discovers a disease he calls Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Only present in footballers, the NFL persecutes Omalu and his colleagues for their findings at the realisation that the sport not only cripples the minds of its favourite sons, but also leaves them as mere shadows of their former selves, forgotten and ridiculed upon their death.


Yes, this is a true story, and an incredibly important one. Its truth aside, 'Concussion' puts forth a fascinating predicament as it presents a serious problem with no solution. This is the real life manifestation of an unstoppable object and an immovable force. If seeing David get beaten and then pissed on by Goliath makes you angry, then get ready to Hulk out.

‘Concussion’s’ forensic work and jargon can either pull you in or alienate you, but it’s the chapter breaks of melodrama that really rip you from the story. Omalu’s story is solid, but when tackling the falling footballers and their last moments, it borders on ridiculous. Dementia and madness are tough subjects to tackle in life let alone on film, which is why here it should have been approached with more sensitivity and less cliché.

'Concussion' puts forth a fascinating predicament as it presents a serious problem with no solution. This is the real life manifestation of an unstoppable object and an immovable force.

As for Smith - he needs to stop hunting for that elusive Oscar. He’s tried and failed in the past a number of times and, simply put, it’s because his ego gets in the way. He has talent, there’s no doubt, but I always know I’m watching Will Smith no matter how much prosthetic he applies.

‘Concussion’ is a decent piece of entertainment and gives great insight into a world and the problem they tried so hard to keep hidden, yet once again I’ve walked away wishing for a documentary; for more truth and less Hollywood. When will the Big H learn that so often, the truth is better and more powerful than fiction, and the story more important than its stars.

RELEASE DATE: 18/02/2016
RUN TIME: 2h 3m
CAST: Will Smith
Alec Baldwin
Stephen Moyer
Paul Reiser
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Peter Landesman
SCORE: James Newton Howard
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