Draft Day’ film a solid pick

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Thanks to the NFL moving back the draft nearly two weeks, the days without football seem even longer. After free agency cools down, there’s a lull all the way to the draft. At that point, it’s still too long to get excited for next season – in part because team’s rosters are mostly set after the draft.

This year “Draft Day”, a movie starring Kevin Costner and directed by newcomer Ivan Reitman, aims to fill that void for NFL fans. The movie, as implied in the title, centers on an unconventional topic: the draft.

The draft, which has evolved into another tornado-like NFL event of its own, is a surprisingly entertaining Kickstarter for this film. The premise of the film succeeds due to a strong cast in a light-hearted drama.

Costner plays Sonny Weaver Jr., general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who over 12 hours has to create a splash to turn around the always hopeful, but always terrible Browns and potentially save his job. Weaver deals with the pressures of his staff as well as personal events such as mourning the loss of his father and news that he is expecting a baby with his secret girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner), the Browns’ salary-cap expert.

In this bizzaro NFL world, the Seattle Seahawks have the No. 1 pick. Events are trigged when Seahawks GM Tom Michaels (Patrick St. Espirt) offers the pick to Weaver in exchange for three firstround draft picks. Weaver accepts it with the idea that the Browns will pick can’tmiss quarterback Bo Callahan.

If there’s a knock on this movie, it’s that the script tries to establish the stakes too hard, too fast. Coach Penn (Denis Leary) storms into Weaver’s office and sets the months of scouting material the team had on fire. QB Brian Drew (Tom Welling) trashes Weaver’s office after finding out the Browns are likely to pick a quarterback with the No. 1 pick. Both moves would never ever happen and frankly are more ridiculous than entertaining.

As the movie starts the settle, Costner shines. His character appears to be the stereotypical hard-knock, no-emotionson- the-job NFL type, but Costner does a good job of conveying how stressful that situation would be. It helps that Costner has experience in other sport films like “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams.” Coster and Garner work well off each other and their relationship feels authentic.

In the end, “Draft Day” is charming. Seeing Weaver – ahem – weave his way throughout the draft process and venting three of the major draft prospects, “Draft Day” chooses to focus on is an enjoyable process.