Will Smith — with an on again and off again Nigerian dialect — stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu. In 2002, Omalu did an autopsy on a former NFL player. The one autopsy led to autopsies of more players and to the concussion brouhaha that haunts the league today.
Omalu proved that repeated, violent contact with other players, their helmets, arms, legs and other body parts causes irreversible brain damage. He named the condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. It was dismissed as poor science by the NFL until 2009.
The NFL would likely reject this movie too. And while naysaying for the diagnosis is incorrect, a negative view of Concussion and its content is.
Concussion runs two hours. With very little to fill the empty space, and as an appropriate metaphor, the movie seems longer and more pointless than the NFL’s tedious Sunday Night Football games. The two announcers and its producers regularly manage to turn a three hour game into four.
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No sport — or movie for that matter — should move that slowly or be as mind-numbing as the concussions talked about in this movie. More metaphor. Concussion loses yardage from the opening kickoff and should have punted way before the credits roll.
Next week Mr. Movie looks at 2015 in movies — the good and the bad. Find it at www.tricityherald.com.
Director: Peter Landesman
Stars: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Eddie Marsan
Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Fairchild’s Queensgate 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.