Cary, NC – Directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Dave), Draft Day proves to be a light and entertaining dramady starring Kevin Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns as he struggles to get the best picks during the all important NFL draft.
Good Even for Non-Sports Fans
Full disclosure: I don’t follow sports. I know the very basics of just about every mainstream sport, but not much else beyond that.
So it makes it difficult for me to say if the way Draft Day depicts the events of the NFL draft is in any way accurate. Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter.
The movie feels authentic, which allows all the motivations and decisions made by the characters to seem as if they are made by actual people, as opposed to caricatures. It’s nice to have another adult orientated film that isn’t worried about taking its time to get where it’s going, while also having realistic and believable people.
Kevin Costner does fine work in the lead here. I’ve always had a strong affinity for his work, especially in a western, but he’s long proven to be watchable in just about anything. There’s nothing about his character here that particularly stretches him as an actor, but Costner brings just the right amount of gruffness and charm that a movie like this needs. His character is in just about every scene of the movie, so the movie rides or dies based on his performance, and Costner carries it with ease.
Good, If Underused Supporting Cast
The rest of the cast is good too, even if the script doesn’t give them too much to do.
Denis Leary (Rescue Me) plays the coach of the Browns, and he butts heads with Costner constantly. Leary can play a jerk like nobody else, and it’s a lot of fun watching him go at it with Costner. Frank Langella (Frost & Nixon) pops up for about 5 minutes as the team’s owner, but he certainly leaves a mark.
It’s Jennifer Garner and Chadwick Boseman (42) who really get the short end of the stick. Garner plays Costner’s co-worker and secret girlfriend who has just found out she’s pregnant. While the film is able to build some tension around the kind of deals that are happening on such a high pressure day, it never seems interested in building any kind of believable tension between Costner and Garner. Again, it seems to be more a fault of the script than anything else, but Garner just feels wasted.
The same could be said for Boseman. The actor takes a pretty one note character and turns him into a memorable and endearing person that really should have had a bigger role in the film.
Draft Day – Worth A Look!
Even with a few missteps, Draft Day remains enjoyable. The movie takes a subject that I really don’t care or know about in any way and turned it into a nice, entertaining story led by Kevin Costner in true underdog form. There’s nothing like a good sports movie, and Draft Day is certainly that!
Jordan Hunt covers the movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews.