Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Will Smith Carries 'Concussion' With His Magnetic Performance (and Nigerian Accent)

Based on a true story, Concussion stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after performing the autopsy of former NFL player Mike Webster.  The movie tells Omalu’s crusade in bringing awareness to CTE, the persecution he received from the National Football League – which tried to suppress his findings and discredit him – and his eventual vindication.  It’s an informative film that will have an impact on our perception of the sport of American Football.

Will Smith returns to form as a dramatic actor.  He proves in this movie that he still has the charm, screen presence, and acting chops that had made him an Academy Award nominee years ago.  His performance is definitely the best thing about this movie.

Concussion has a strong, intriguing message.  But at some point during the movie, it felt like that preaching this message has overtaken its desire to present a good story.  In my opinion, the message would have been more emphatic if the storytelling had been done more impressively.

There were a few times it started becoming tedious and almost lost me.  Thankfully, again, Will Smith is in this movie.  His magnetic portrayal of Dr. Omalu – complete with an endearing, believable Nigerian accent – is what primarily kept me glued on till the end.

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