When pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play, it is about to give the NFL a massive shock!
The film tells the story of a doctor who is originally from Nigeria and how he has made America his home, but how will the people respond when he makes a shocking discovery about its favourite sport?
It was put together in a different way to how I expected and moved at a pretty slow pace at times, that wasn’t a bad thing though as it really helped to build up the suspense and showing that it was quite a wait at times to really understand what the men had been through.
It all seemed to happen by chance as a former Pittsburgh player died and Bennet was on duty that day to perform the autopsy. He would not accept that a former athlete at a young age could have had so many problems without it showing on the many tests he had when he was still alive. He even used his own money to fund the research as he really wanted to understand what had happened.
With this he also began to study football and the tackles or hits the men would take. Even after being knocked out and having concussion the players would even play in the same game coming back onto the field. Something that is pretty shocking really, it did make me wonder what has been changed since all of these discoveries as that’s something we weren’t told about at the end. Surely the NFL now have rules in place if a player has had concussion? Sorry English person here wrong type of football haha.
I know it was based on a true story but I found the movement from Bennet being told that he needed a girlfriend and to touch people who are alive every once and a while to then being asked to give a young woman a room was a very quick turnaround and felt forced, knowing what he had been told a few days before. The good thing is though that is probably by biggest problem with the film, which isn’t really major.
It was engaging and fascinating especially for the American doctors who really felt torn to have to go against the sport they love but not then being able to go against science. I really thought that was pretty powerful as it shows why so many men were put at risk. The wanting to win a game at all costs, not that it makes it right of course. Some of the scenes are truly heartbreaking as we watch the downfall of so many men with them having no explanation of why they cannot remember things and have awful headaches, lash out at the people they love without much help or sympathy. The only way out was suicide and that is what many of these former players did, only aged between 40-50 as well very sad and upsetting.
Will Smith does put in a good performance and in my opinion that is a positive as I have not been very impressed with him over the past few years he has made some awful choices in roles. While I think this is back on form I don’t think it was Oscar or even nomination worthy. Alec Baldwin offers a good supporting role along with Albert Brooks who make it engaging as well, linking up well with Smith. I enjoyed and thought this film was much better than I expected it to be.