Draft Day

Draft Day

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writers: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph

Cast: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Chris Berman, Dave Donaldson, Patrick St. Esprit, Chi McBride, Tom Welling, Mel Kiper, Jon Gruden, Terry Crews, Deion Sanders, Mike Mayock, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Goldhammer, Chadwick Boseman, Sam Elliott, Frank Langella, Denis Leary, Sean Combs, Josh Pence, Ellen Burstyn, Russ Brandon, Marc Honan, Roger Goodell, John Heffernan, Rebecca Haarlow, Ray Lewis, Rosanna Arquette, Margot Danis, Jennifer McMahan, Sophie Guest, Jim Brown, Ken Fiore, Joel Bussert, Frank Supovitz, Sammy Choi, Jeff Darlington, Mike Florio, Alex Marvez, Seth Wickersham, Bernie Kosar, Monique Brown, Phil Taylor, T.J. Ward, D'Qwell Jackson, Andre Bello

Synopsis: At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references

Stevennix2001's Rating:

8.0 / 10

Pros:


- NFL clips and ESPN cameos were a nice touch

- Acting was good

- Story was fairly decent, as it carries a lot of deep themes about the daily struggles we all go through in life.

- Humor was funny

Cons:


- Story is a bit predictable

- Still has a lot of cliches sprinkled throughout the film

The Greatest Victories Don't Always Happen on the Field

Are you ready for some football!?! Oh wait, I'm sorry. I forgot I'm not here to talk about the NFL (short for National Football League). No, I'm here to review "Draft Day." No, I'm not talking about the actual NFL draft day either. I'm talking about the movie called "Draft Day." Although this film has been getting some positive buzz, as I think one critic even claimed this was one of the best sports films of all time. However, I'm here to tell all my readers that isn't case. Don't get me wrong, "Draft Day" is still a pretty good movie in it's own right. Hell, I certainly enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say it's one of the best sports movies of all time.

As one can tell from the title of the movie, and considering it's about the NFL, then it should be pretty obvious the film is about some team trying to get lucky in the draft. As all sporting fans know, all team sports have a draft, where each team selects various players from college to play for them. Dreams are made, and crushed. Dynasties are born, while other teams end up looking like donkeys.

Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, whom seem to be going through a rebuilding year. Forced to make a big splash in this year's NFL draft, or else he'll be fired. Sonny tries to do whatever it takes to use this draft to create a winning team that he wants, while trying to appease his eccentric boss, and an over zealous coach that are constantly preaching into his ear about what they want.

Meanwhile, he's having to deal with the fact that his father died fairly recently, who used to be the coach of the Browns. Oddly enough, he was forced to fire his father before he died for undisclosed reasons that are revealed later on in the movie. I won't spoil it for my readers, but let's just say it's one of the more touching parts of the film and I'll leave it at that.

And to add even more drama to Sonny's life, he's been dating the team's accountant secretly for years. However, like all women in these kind of movies, she doesn't want to keep their relationship a secret anymore, and it obviously puts a lot of pressure on Sonny to change.

On the surface, it seems like "Draft Day" tries to emulate "Moneyball" in a lot of ways, as it shows more of the business aspects of a sport. Showing us what goes on behind the scenes, and how these deals get made. However, it's surprisingly a lot more than that.

As we watch the movie, it's fairly obvious that "Draft Day" is meant to play out as a drama about a man struggling to deal with his daily problems, in his personal and professional life. At times, Sonny even doubts himself on whether or not he's even capable of overcoming these overwhelming circumstances, which is relatable in a lot of ways. After all, I'm sure many of my readers had to deal with adversity at some point in their lives, while being forced to deal with whatever problems they have at work on top of that.

Kevin Costner comes across as endearing and sympathetic. He doesn't show a lot of emotional range in this, but he doesn't have to. He carries with him a quiet dignity, and inner turmoil that makes the viewer can't help but root for him. Frank Langella does a terrific job in his part, and Dennis Leary plays the part of the over zealous coach like nobody's business. His smart a** attitude meshes well with Kevin Costner's laid back personality perfectly, as the two balance each other out.

As for Jennifer Garner's performance, I thought she played her part rather well. The only real problem I had with her character was that she was practically a "Mary Sue." No matter what happened in the movie, she was always the voice of reason. Never losing her cool, or anything. Not saying it's a bad thing, but it just makes her seem more like a role model kind of character, and not one that you could relate to.

As for the rest of the film, I thought it was handled fairly well. It's a bit predictable at times, as you can tell exactly where the story is going to go. Not to mention, you have all the stereotypical Hollywood cliches being sprinkled throughout this film. However, it's never enough to ruin the movie. Plus, the humor was pretty funny; along with adding NFL clips, and ESPN cameos, that were a nice touch.

Overall, I wouldn't say "Draft Day" is by any means a great movie, but it's certainly interesting to watch if you have enough money to see it in theaters.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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