Based on a True Story
Release Date: December 25th, 2015
Run Time: 123 Minutes
Directed by Peter Landesman
Written by Peter Landesman, Jeanne Marie Laskas
Stars: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks
Reviewboard Rating: 5/5 Stars
It is hard to come away from this film without being (if you aren’t already) a huge Will Smith fanboy/girl. It is even harder not to come away from this film without being a huge Dr. Bennet Omalu fan. Will Smith proves (again) that he is an incredible actor. Gone are the boyish grins, any whiff of comedy, Will Smith Body Language, even his walking gate. Everything transformed to become Dr. Bennet Omalu.
I played football from 6th grade on. In fact my first football team became the league champions the year I played. I’d like to think I had something to do with it. In high school I was 6’3” 230 pounds. I played Center, Nose Guard, Tackle, and I could kick the ball end zone to end zone with the accuracy of a starting varsity soccer player (which I was). I’ve had 6 concussions. I loved playing football. Watching this movie made me thankful that I decided to fall in love with computers and go into technology. I’m telling you all of this because I want you to understand that I can relate to both sides of this issue. I’m not some football hater that wants to shut down the NFL because football is dangerous.
No… I want to shutdown the NFL because after watching the film I’m convinced that they should have been charged at a criminal level for what they did. Proposterous? Watch the film.
Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu. If you aren’t up on Dr. Omalu just imagine Einstein as a medical doctor, and a muscian. Saying that seems limited because it is quite clear Dr. Omalu could do anything (except maybe dance) he wanted to. A brilliant man, who simply cared enough to spend his own money to do research on a problem he found during an autopsy. A man that (as the movie says) exemplifies what being an American… a real American should look like. What he found led to naming a condition that happens to football players (among others) and shed light on something the NFL not only covered up, but actively tried to discredit.
A condition that cost its players their lives, shortened their careers, took their sanity.
This film is amazing. Will Smith is Amazing. Alec Baldwin plays a retired team doctor and he not only looks fabulous but was terrific. Albert Brooks… well it’s Albert Brooks, he’s the best. It was great to see him in a film again. He played Dr. Omalu’s fan and Boss’s Boss. David Morse played Mike Webster the guy that started it all by dying and having the good fortune of ending up on Dr. Omalu’s autopsy table.
I have to give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Everyone involved should win awards. It’s incredible. It is also a good eye opening film that shows just how big corporate America can act with impunity.