Slow pacing takes away impact of ‘Concussion’

by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor

A blow to the head resulting in temporary unconsciousness, confusion, and incapacity is commonly known as a concussion.

This has become a hot topic among NFL players and fans in the past few years, giving birth to Will Smith’s newest movie, “Concussion”

The film is based on the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Smith), a forensic pathologist from Nigeria, and his discovery of a new disease.

After a string of Hall of Fame NFL players begin to go mad and commit suicide, Dr. Omalu discovers the professional football players are dying due to the impacts they endure on the field hundreds of times a season.

Omalu eventually names the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Omalu meets former Pittsburg team Dr. Julian Bails (Alec Baldwin), who informs him that the NFL has known about the issue of concussions for some time and hid it from their players. Dr. Bails informs Omalu that the NFL would not like his discovery.

Omalu is harassed by football fans, the NFL, and even the FBI, which threatens to have him deported back to Nigeria if he does not stop his research.


The NFL cannot maintain deniability forever, however. By the end of the movie, the League is exposed and sued by more than 5,000 former players

Overall, the movie is done well. Yet it suffered from slow pacing that had me losing interest during some places of the movie.

Another small problem with the film is that other than Pittsburg Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster (David Morse), the film only briefly shows players suffering from the effects of CTE. It failed to show how mad the former players were becoming.

Also with a subject such as CTE, which has become known as the disease that kills football players, the movie should have been able to hit the audience harder.

The movie tells a good story and tells it fairly well. However, the movie never reaches a true climax and comes to a bit of a screeching halt in the end.

Smith proves once again that he can take on most any cinematic role and be successful. But I don’t agree with the recent controversy that he was cheated out of an Oscar nomination for his performance.

While Smith played his role as Dr. Omalu well, there was never a moment where he truly captivates the viewer.

The movie has a good message and some very good acting. But it lacks the powerful impact that a movie chronicling something as serious as “the disease that could destroy football” should have.

I give the film two out of five stars.



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