Peter Landesman has not made a lot of films before, and here it shows. What could have been an important and heartbreaking film feels clunky and oddly paced.
Will Smith plays Dr Omalu, a Nigerian pathologist who discovers through post-mortem examination that there are very serious side effects to the constant head on impact of American football. When he publishes his findings, he finds himself head to head with the NFL, who want to deny the findings.
At the core of this film are the players. These poor guys who reach a certain age and start suffering head aches, hearing voices, feeling suddenly aggressive, confused, self harming and killing themselves. It’s really really awful what these poor guys went through.
So this story deserved a really good film. And even though Smith and Alec Baldwin give passionate and nuanced performances, the scenes jar oddly against each other, the speeches about being on a mission from God feel awkward and overly long. And there are holes in the story. So many times I was asking why. So much just didn’t feel right, didn’t feel real. And it should, it’s a true story.
If you really like Will Smith it's definitely worth a look, otherwise it’s a pretty average watch.
EXTRAS: Nine deleted scenes; two featurettes – Crafting Concussion and Inside the True Story; and an audio commentary by writer/director Peter Landesman.