We're required to remind you that these strong takes are SATIRE. Sorry, not sorry. All spelling errors are intentional, we think. -- The editor.
While it seems the rest of the world has "Star Wars" fever, Im dealing with a bad case of post-concusson syndrome- the condition that makes my head hurt from trying to sort out all the half-truths and revisionist medical propoganda coming out of this years feel-bad Hollywood downer- Concussion.
First of all, it premeres to the masses on December 25th which goes to show you just how highly it thinks of itself sharing the same birthday as Jesus. The main character is Dr. Bennet Omalu and played by Will Smith- a actor and former hardcore rapper. Omalu's portrayed some sort of hero because he invents CTE and goes up against Roger Goodell who tries to prevent the CTE epidemic from ever being discovered, which is so backwards I cant stand it. When I was growing up watching movies, you didnt celebrate the mad scientist, you rooted for the Superhero to stop him. Just goes to show you how different things are today, nowadays.
The part of NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell is played by the handsomer of the two Wilson brothers, and the movie centers around the fact that Goodell allegedly tried to downplay and discredit Omalus research despite the fact that there is just no scientific reason to beileve that there is a link between brain injuries and the lingering effects of those brain injuries. Folks I've dealt with rappers trying to push there theories on early-onset mental instabilty before- theyre called Cypress Hill, and I didnt listen to them either.
From a acting standpoint I dont buy a hip hop artist and admitted former street brawler playing a neuroscientist battling a brain disease. In fact, a closer look at Smiths career shows that he has made a healthy living off playing characters who battle things that dont exist including Space Aliens, zombies,space aliens, his own sons acting abilties, iRobots, space aliens again, racism in golf, and the unrealistic expectations of upward economic mobility.
Wilson's acting comes across more like someone doing a impression of Luke Wilson doing a impression of a fleshlight doing a impression of Roger Goodell. You cant have it both ways and play the part as both limp-wristed and as a guy who's making the jerk-off motion to medical science. The stars just fail to deliver all around. Omalu's collegague Dr. Julian Bailes is played by Alec Baldwin as a supporting actor which is ironic because the leads are weak.
The movie relies far to much on "gotcha" neuroscience and not enough on heart. You can throw all the longitudinal studies in the world out there, but I'm a north-south guy. Your attitude determines your latitiude and what this movie fails to even address is the anti-football bias that most sciencists have. By and large, doctors werent cool enough to play football in High School so instead they developed a complex aganst there more athleteic former classmates, and now spend every waking hour trying to convince us that actually, concussions arent so cool after all. There saying they've cracked the code and that football isnt safe, just because they got stuffed in a locker a few too many times folks.
Use your head and think about it. All the kids you knew who played football- how many of them went on to become brain surgeons? Hell ,most of my friends from the team failed out of college or just gave up&became business majors. Meanwhile the jealous smart kids who werent good enough to rack up the helmet stickers never got to wear a letter jacket growing up, so they overcompensate by getting a white coat with MD stamped across the chest.
I dont march into the ER and start correcting the nurses on their footwork and hip-fluidty anymore, so why do medical professonals have their hands all over my sports? Its simple- They want to make our kids wear helmets and pads while they play 24 challenge, and limit High School atheletics to low-contact hug fests just so there kids can have a better shot at winning.
Heres what the treatment was for a concusson whenever I coach- sit the youngster down, give him a salt pill and a swimsuit issue to get the blood flowing, then slap him a few times on the cheek in a paternal, supportive, yet demanding way. The symptoms are no worse for you then a hangover- your groggy, blurry vision, senstivity to light and sound, but you dont see doctors out here trying to make it illegal for kids to drink beers. They could at least try to be consistant. I've submitted in the past that the best cure for a concussion is the "hair of the dog" theory where you medically administer a slightly smaller concusson the next morning to get the cobwebs out, so how come theres no movie about me?
Theres also a competing theory that getting concussions actually makes you smarter since it kills off the weaker brain cells first- making your brain more operate effecent as a whole. Damaging your brain at a younger age gives you a important advantage when it comes to dealing with adversity and prepares you for the memory loss and confusion that your likely to experience as a elderly. One of the NFLs stronger arguments could be that the prejudice against concussions is actually a symptom of participation trophy culture where everyone gets a healthy brain- by coddling our kids mental health we're actualy doing them a disservice and leaving them ill-equipped for the real world when their brains eventually stop working altogether.
As far as the timeline and events of the film go, there are a few glaring plot holes and inconsistenceys- namely the fact that the movie not one time mentions the medically proven fact that woodpeckers and big-horn rams arent falling out of the sky with CTE depsite that they spend 40% of there waking hours slamming their heads against each other. The movie also fails to disclose prominently that its produced by Sony pictures which is not a current rights holder for televised NFL football- a blatant conflict of interest.
In conclusion, although I havent seen it yet, the movie comes off as depserately trying to push a political agenda, so if you want to avoid mixing your entertainment with politics I still recommend going to see Benghazi instead. I give this movie 2 stars, only because its got alot of actual football highlights in it so you can at least multitask and grind a little film while your watching it. I would give it 1, but you know who else labled things with a star?