RELEASED 2015 RUNTIME 122 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION PETER LANDESMAN SCREENPLAY PETER LANDESMAN STARRING WILL SMITH, ALEC BALDWIN, GUGU MBATHA-RAW, ARLISS HOWARD, PAUL REISER, LUKE WILSON, ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE, DAVID MORSE, ALBERT BROOKS MUSIC JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
When one day the NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster turns mad and commits suicide, followed by similar incident by other NFL stars, Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), a Nigerian pathologist working in Pittsburgh, PA, uncovers a mysterious brain disease (CTE – Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) causing these effects. But not only that, he claims that the disease is caused by the sport itself, which in turn puts him on the black list of the mighty National Football League, who fear for the popularity of their sport.
The story of the film is incredible and it’s true. It’s a fight of David vs Golitah, an immigrant from Africa against one of the mightiest American corporations.
It reminds me a lot of the movie The Insider, where one man goes to fight the entire tobacco industry for uncovering the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes which they are trying to deny.
Will Smith is perfect! Finally this man has recognized that he can be a serious dramatic actor if you give him the right roles.
He does a perfect African accent and totally disappears in the role. I thought it would be impossible, but after a while in forgot that Will Smith is in the movie and that’s just a prove that this man can act.
I hope he continues to choose these sort of roles. I think he noticed that being the funny action star isn’t working out for him anymore as well as it used to.
Alec Baldwin as Julian Bailes, a former team doctor of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is also stellar. Him and Smith are working great together on screen.
Ultimately the movie is a straight up bio-pic following the usual formula. It’s good, but that’s about it. I can’t really be negative about it because it works on a bio pic level. You know all the beats it will take you through and you will leave the theater satisfied, especially, if you are a follower of American Football.
There was a love story that didn’t really do much for the movie and felt unnecessary. I think you could have written the script around it. Although it brought a nice performance out of Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
So what can I say? It’s a good movie. Do I have to watch it again? Probably not. But if you want to watch an incredible performance by Will Smith, you HAVE to go see it.