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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Movie Review - Draft Day

Draft Day (2014)
Starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Pence, Sean Combs, and Ellen Burstyn
Directed by Ivan Reitman

I've never been a football guy and I likely never will be.  I've never gotten excited over who the Philadelphia Eagles choose in the annual NFL draft so the concept of a film revolving around this day didn't exactly scream fascinating to me.  The fact that Draft Day kept my interest is a feat unto itself and the notion that I found it somewhat enjoyable is nothing but surprising to me.

Kevin Costner is quite captivating as Sonny Weaver, the general manager for the floundering Cleveland Browns, who wakes up on draft day to his girlfriend and co-worker Ali (Jennifer Garner) telling him that she's pregnant.  As if draft day wasn't strenuous enough, now he's got this whopper in his back pocket all day (and, really, let's be honest, if Ali is the football fiend that her high-paying job at the Browns says she is, she should have known better than to reveal this big news on draft day).  Nevertheless, the claws are out for Sonny from the fans, the potential draftees, the coaches and players currently employed by the Browns, and the owner of the team (Frank Langella).  One wrong move and Sonny will seemingly be out of a job.

Draft Day works best when it places Sonny in moments where football decisions are front and center.  (No one is more surprised than me that I just wrote that sentence.)  Clouding his day with family problems -- the new fatherhood, his mother (Ellen Burstyn) attempting to make him feel guilty for forgetting about his dead father (and former Browns coach whom Sonny himself fired when the team failed) -- just bog the film down.  I guess part of me understand why these issues are present in an attempt to appeal to the masses, but the inner machinations of an NFL draft day are more than interesting enough.  Livelihoods are truly on the line and Draft Day does a pretty darn good job of making that evident.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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