FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Draft Day” stars Kevin Costner (Black or White, Wyatt Earp), Jennifer Garner (Alias [TV series], Dallas Buyer’s Club), Denis Leary (Ice Age, Two If by Sea), Chadwick Boseman (42, Captain America: Civil War), Frank Langella (Robot & Frank, The Ninth Gate), Ellen Burstyn (Interstellar, Requiem for a Dream), Patrick St. Esprit (Super 8, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises, Battleship), and Tom Welling (Smallville [TV series], The Choice). It is directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Twins) and is written by Scott Rothman (Army of One) and Rajiv Joseph (My America, Army of One). Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner), the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, plans to do something great for his team come time of Draft Day. That is, until he is given a surprising offer, which seems terrific at first, but ends up costing the Browns big time. Now Sonny must fix his mistake, with only hours left until the big event.
Yet another Kevin Costner film that I have reviewed; yet another one that isn’t good. “Draft Day” is a movie that looked promising in the trailers I saw, but could not live up to them in the actual release. It’s a story that has real people in it, but isn’t true, especially with the year it takes place in. When centering a film around the Cleveland Browns, one would expect for it to take place during the height of their tenure in the NFL. There could be some truth behind how a coach got the losing team to the playoffs or maybe even a futuristic movie where it shows the Browns going to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, this takes place in 2014, where they aren’t respected and, quite frankly, suck. This isn’t about the team, however, but instead Sonny, the general manager of the Browns, and what he plans to do during the draft. The draft is a high stakes event, especially for teams with losing records the season before (the Browns being one of them). Cleveland doesn’t like Sonny or his decisions, and want him out, so the stakes are high for his job. I wanted to like this film, I really did. It had some charm in it, as I could tell that the writers wanted to go for a “Moneyball” vibe, but they just couldn’t pull off a good movie, as this one seriously flopped towards its end. The story of this release is what’s to blame for it being bad. I admit that the first half was pretty good. There was some good build up towards the draft and I got to see some development of Sonny’s situation. The added factor of how I enjoy football played a prominent role in this as well. The mystery of what the Browns were going to do in this draft and how they have to fix mistakes was supposed to be the draw in of this feature, but towards the second half everything crumbled to bits. Why? Because there was no closure or satisfaction. I’m not going to spoil anything, but this release is utterly pointless. Sonny makes a mistake in the hours leading up to the draft, so this film spends all of its time fixing his problem. Not that this is boring, as I did enjoy aspects of this movie. It just wasn’t enough to make a complete story. Having a film center on a real event, including some real people, but have the entire plot be fiction can be good if they do it right, but this flick didn’t. I didn’t really care about any of the characters, as the main ones were fake, and the outcomes of the issues they had seemed to be all too unrealistic. On top of that, the ending offered no resolution, as I stated before. Watching this was like was like watching a film about a kid who has never been invited to a birthday party before. The movie takes all of its time showing us how the child tries to get into a party and by the end he is able to get an invitation. Then the film ends. We don’t get to see him actually go to the party and see how he reacts to it. We only got to see the build up. There’s no pay-off people! Sprinkle on some hollow character development, clichés, and conflicts coincidentally resolved and you have “Draft Day.” It was such a disappointment to see a movie with good pieces fail, and I actually laughed after I watched it knowing that I wasted my time. That’s not to say that this is a complete garbage heap, however, for there are some things to like about this release. The acting was okay (they had a ton of “famous” people), the atmosphere was fun, and it’s football! What’s not to like about football? Seeing how the draft went down was interesting, even though I have no clue how much of this can actually happen. Sure, the breakdown of the draft is real, but I’m not sure about the many phone calls general managers can have with players prior to the draft. Overall, this was another Costner flop I have witnessed. It had some worthy pieces, and even started off well, but it just couldn’t produce a sound story that was as serious as they tried to make it out to be. That, and its awkward editing, made for an unpleasant experience. FINAL SCORE: 61%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: