Will Smith is a terrific actor and his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu in the movie, Concussion, has already received stellar reviews. Of course, Will Smith is likable and even when he does something wrong, it seems as though the media is kind to Mr. Smith. It’s not surprising he’s going to score big with this movie, and chances are he might even take home an Oscar.
Another stellar performance in the movie was given by David Morse, the actor who played former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster. It just so happened that when I took in the movie I happened to be sitting with diehard Steelers’ fans. “He was great.” one of them said. “That’s Iron Mike.” In my opinion, Morse nails it. He is believable and if you did not already know that Mike Webster died homeless in his truck, you might think that he was playing himself.
What’s a bit troubling to me, as I read about Morse’s preparation for the role in an interview he gave to Screenrant.com is that the focus seems to be on “head trauma and dementia,” that resulted from the game but there is little mention of misuse of steroids. In fact, I’m not sure they are ever mentioned, the movie does portray that Mike Webster was misusing his body but it does not show how steroids might have played any significant role in the demise.
The movie is not intended to address all of the variables that might have contributed to Mike Webster’s demise, but rather shine a light on the National Football League’s denial of residual affects of concussion based injuries. Still it seems as though somewhere along the way a brilliant mind like Omalu’s would have considered misuse of steroids as a possible cause of death. Perhaps I missed that part.
It’s unlikely to cause the National Football League to lose fans. Those who watch the NFL seem to be in for the long haul and are willing to endure the good, bad and the ugly.