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Why 'Concussion' is worth your time
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Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith star in Columbia Pictures' "Concussion." - photo by John Clyde


THE FOOTBALL FIELD There has been a lot of talk around the film Concussion and that its just Oscar fodder for Will Smith. Even if thats true, it didnt diminish the fact that its actually good film.

Despite a lack of action or any real danger the film manages to keep you intrigued and interested.

Here are some reasons Concussion is worth a trip to the theater.

Will Smith

If you would have told me back in the early 90s that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Will Smith would be not only one of the most bankable Hollywood stars, but also a repeat contender for an Academy Award, I would have just shaken my head and rolled my eyes at your ignorance.

Now I will swallow my tongue and apologize for my arrogance, because Will Smith is the real deal and he proves it yet again in Concussion. I dont think he gave the performance of the year its a strong year but I do think he turned in one of the better ones of his career and you get lost in it.

Smith manages to drop his cool-guy persona and becomes Dr. Bennet Omalu. Hes a smart man that needs to find the confidence to believe in himself as much as he thinks he does.

Smith alone would be worth watching the film for, but thankfully thats not all it has going for it.

Intriguing

Concussion isnt full of exciting football plays and action, but it is about football; kind of. Its at least based around the game of football and particularly the NFL. Because of that you are pulled in even more as we see the lives of players that we remember unravel, and the organization we watch on a weekly basis, cover it up.

The film may be a bit heavy handed at times with its treatment of the NFL and particularly commissioner Roger Goodell, but the movie is effective.

The film is more of a slow burn than an action-packed thriller, but the content is interesting, familiar, and at times a little terrifying.

The filmmakers manage to unfold the story in a frustrating manner that recruits you to team Omalu and keeps you pondering on the movie well after you leave the theater.

The problems

While I truly enjoyed the film, the pacing may be a bit too slow for some audiences. This is a movie that unravels slowly and doesnt really pick up at any time. I was never bored, but depending on your taste, Concussion may move along a bit too slowly.

While the film itself moves kind of slow, the story itself seems to jump time periods without any real indication of how much time has actually passed. This can leave you a bit confused for a moment until you piece some things together and realize that at least a year or so has passed.

Overall

The film is not perfect and thats likely what some critics are taking issue with, but as for me, I was intrigued by the story, attached to its characters and invested all the way through.

The film has some language in it and is definitely for an older audience when it comes to story. Not that its offensive, but younger kids will likely be bored.

Concussion is rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images and language.