Screen Gems Movie Reviews with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!
April 11, 2014 Draft Day
Studio: Summit Entertainment Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language and sexual references.
Kevin Costner has brought us laughs and tears through baseball, golf and cycling. The actor turns his attention to football in "Draft Day."
Sonny Weaver, Junior (Costner) is the general manager of the NFL'S Cleveland Browns who is 12 hours away from the biggest decision of his life.
With his owner (Frank Langella) demanding Sonny make a splash, he trades away the team's future for the number one overall draft pick. But football isn't the only thing on Sonny's mind. His ex-coach father died a week earlier, just a year after Sonny fired him. And his girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner) has just told him she's pregnant.
Additionally, his new head coach (Denis Leary) doesn't like the way Sonny is running the team.
With the number one pick, Sonny is expected to take the man everyone says is the best player in the draft, Wisconsin quarterback Bo Callahan (Josh Pence). But even though he made a huge trade to get him, Sonny just isn't sure.
Instead of going by the book, Sonny may go by his gut.
In the chaos that is the NFL draft it's hard to believe any NFL G.M. would allow this many personal distractions just hours before the event. But, the plot twists involving Ali and Sonny's family are meant to give non-football fans something to watch.
However, the movie is at its best when it sticks to its main theme. Sonny wheeling and dealing with other NFL general managers and interacting with the players who are on Cleveland's draft board.
Costner relaxes into this role like its an old glove. He looks and sounds very authentic. While his May-December relationship with Garner (he's almost 60 and she's just past 40) strains credibility, it's certainly not out of the question.
As for Garner, her performance is also natural and believable. She's Cleveland's salary cap expert who also happens to be having a relationship with her boss.
The stars display nice chemistry as they deal with the draft and the news they're going to be parents.
While the subplots could have easily been dropped, they don't weigh the movie down too much. This is a breezy, lightweight film which kept me entertained.
Director Ivan Reitman uses some interesting split screen shots to showcase Sonny's business moves. And he keeps popping up a clock, showing that both in the NFL draft and life, time marches inexorably forward.
On my rating scale, "Draft Day" earns a DOUBLE. It's a fun little movie.
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