Upcoming director Peter Landesman and veteran actor Will Smith collaborate on this intriguing yet heart-breaking story of Nigerian born pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) who discovers the truth behind the cover-up of American Football’s biggest secret. After performing an autopsy on local Pittsburgh Steelers legend Mike Webster, Dr Omalu discovers that the body is in immaculate condition. Only until Dr.Omalu goes further into the autopsy of Mike Webster’s death, he discovers major damage to the brain that can only be caused by years of repeated concussions during the play of the game. After discovering this breakthrough, everyone wants a piece of the pathologist, including the big heads of NFL. Threatened by deportation to withdraw his case of concussion, Bennet Omalu decides to go head on with the NFL to uncover the truth behind their cover-up of the concussion issue within the game.
Leading the pack is Will Smith portraying Bennet Omalu; after taking a short break from his acting career to concentrate on producing, he has made a slow start for his return to the big screen, but this could be one of his best pieces of work to date. Only what I would call his fourth serious outing in a dramatic role after ‘Ali’, ‘Seven Pounds’ and ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ Will Smith demonstrates that he has the ability to pull off a decent performance and this time is definitely one of my favourites. He may not show the personality in ‘Ali’ that made his performance so likeable, but in ‘Concussion’ Will Smith delivers a true and commanding performance to portray pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in the right light. The Nigerian was only trying to do right by exposing the shameful cover up of concussion in the game by the NFL, and Will Smith shows the great side of his acting forte and is deserving of his Golden Globe nomination. Most likely far and away from winning the coveted prize, it’s good to see him be recognized.
Surrounded by a solid supporting cast in Albert Brooks, Gugu-Mbatha Raw and Alec Baldwin, ‘Concussion’ is gifted with a talented cast that helps every second of the film flow seamlessly and provide us with great acting throughout the film. The overall story is very captivating, especially as I had absolutely no idea of the story behind this film. Again, in that sense, the NFL still have a huge stronghold on the media and the cover-up of this incident as I hadn’t heard of this story until watching the film. Very well paced, great performances all round by the cast and an intriguing cover-up of the issues of concussion in America’s most beloved games. 4 out of 5 stars.