Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu's emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Although never mentioned in the film, Chris Nowinski, an American author, co-founder and Executive Director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and a former professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment and renowned for being WWE's first Harvard alumnus, wrote Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis, which examined the long-term effects of head trauma among athletes. Nowinski played an integral role in the discovery of the fourth case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a former NFL football player, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Justin Strzelczyk, who was killed in a fiery automobile crash in 2004 at age 36 after a 37-mile police chase at speeds up to 100 miles per hour on the wrong side of the highway. Julian Bailes, the chairman of the department of neurosurgery at West Virginia University and the Steelers' team neurosurgeon during Strzelczyk's career, insisted to Nowinski over a phone conversation that he thought Strzelczyk's death, which was precipitated by strange behavior that some had labeled as "bipolar", was worth looking into due to its similarities to the Andre Waters case. Nowinski contacted Omalu, who discovered the brain was still available, and Nowinski called Mary Strzelczyk, Justin's mother, to ask for permission to Omalu to examine it for CTE. Omalu's positive diagnosis was confirmed by two other neuropathologists. See more »
When Dr Omalu is looking for a CT Scan of Mike Webster, his assistant hands him a MRI Scan instead. On a CT Scan you see bone as white, and on a MRI you can't see bone. See more »
Dr. Bennet Omalu:
[on Dr Wecht's indictment for misuse of a fax machine]
They could not come up with something this stupid in Nigeria!
See more »
Concussion is a biographical picture that takes place in the early 2000's. The movie starts out by showing these players who freak out and start getting dimentia. Will Smith is a pathologist who starts doing autopsies on these players and discovers that there is a common theme, being repeated head trauma to the brain. The NFL knew about what was going on, but didn't say anything. Will Smith tries to shine light on the situation but the NFL does what it can so that the story does not leak.
This movie was a movie I had been looking forward to for a long time because I thought it was very courageous for a movie to tackle this (pun intended) especially with the NFL playoffs right around the corner. This movie certainly makes a statement, but doesn't pack the punch I was hoping to see. Now this movie is not all bad. Will Smith delivers his best performance to date, which he is already being acknowledged for a golden globes (as he should be). He is phenomenal in his role and is committed. Smith does have an accent, but after a couple minutes, you forget that there even is an accent, and you truly believe he talks the way he does. As for the other performances, they were top notch as well.
Besides the performances "Concussion" is a let down. By the end you will find yourself wanting more. There is so much more you wanted to learn about the matter at hand, that the movie drifts away from. The movie ends up being more about Will Smiths character than the football itself, which is fine, but not the movie I thought I was going to see. But it did take away from the balance of the movie.
In the end, As a quarterback I wanted Concussion to go for the endzone, but it ends up doing more of a button hook.
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