Concussion Movie Review
Concussion is a 2015 biographical drama film directed by Peter Landesman and starring Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alec Baldwin. It is a basic, yet engaging drama.
Concussion follows a Nigerian pathologist who studied and found out about brain damage suffered by NFL players. This is a typical biopic film that is very relevant and deals with an important subject matter, but it is also way too typical and clichéd in its execution. I particularly disliked the ending which is just so typically triumphant and the film unfortunately never has anything deeper to say and it definitely lacks the sophistication to make it more interesting.
But it is an engaging drama which I did not expect as I wasn’t interested in this subject matter at all. But they made it involving for the viewers and the film is not boring. Also, I liked the dialogue here and although it stayed on the same trajectory, it was still well executed and dramatic. The film’s first half is much better than the problematic second half. Also, the emphasis on basically just the doctor himself is troublesome as the movie rarely shows you the sport itself. It should have had more scenes with the players or on the field as it is about the brain damage of NFL players.
Dr. Bennet Omalu is well portrayed here, but he is too good and heroic in a typical Hollywood fashion. He never seemed like a real person to me. Prema is quite forgettable and that is unfortunate as I really like Gugu Mbatha-Raw. But I liked Julian quite a bit and Alec Baldwin delivered such a strong performance. As for Will Smith, I understand why some critics found his performance to be one of the best of the year as he really is very good, but to me his performance isn’t that fantastic as I could see it was acting at certain times. He is definitely quite good, just not great.
The film is weakly directed and the editing is problematic. Yes, it isn’t boring or too slow in my opinion, but it does feel way too much like a procedural drama series instead of a real feature film. That was definitely a problem Concussion never overcame. Also, the film definitely needed more light moments and humor to ease the tone a bit. But the subject matter is solidly explored here and the film is definitely important to see. And it does have its warm moments. I just wish that the screenplay was a bit more sophisticated and that it wasn’t that predictable and typical in its execution. It is a solid film in the end, but it could have been done much better anyway.