Friday, December 25, 2015

Concussion Movie Review

Alec Baldwin & Will Smith (r) star in Concussion

The Science of Death

IMDb Plot: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play. Directed by Peter Landesman. Co-stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Albert Brooks.

Football is a game of halves, and (somewhat sadly) Landesman's Concussion is too. The first half is near-perfection, led by a brilliant multidimensional quarterback (Smith) and a gripping unveiling of a deadly opponent (CTE.) Smith's terrific... equal parts endearing, funny and (most importantly) resolute; and the material, nothing short of terrifying. Unfortunately, once the NFL gets involved, things start to deteriorate. Doom & gloom takes over (Christmas opening?) and Smith & co. get swept away in a sea of conspiracy/despair. Sometimes it's best to stick to the game plan (especially when you're winning) and leave the politics for Sunday morning television.

GradeB (Smith deserves an Oscar nom, even amidst this year's crowded field.)