Kevin Costner is not as hot as he once was at the box office, but when he makes a new sports movie, those are usually the better ones. Usually. Today, April 11, his newest movie comes out, "Draft Day" and as you can probably tell by the title, it is a sports movie. However, it is one of the rarer cases for him because this movie is hardly on par with most of the other sport related movies he has done in the past.
Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns and it is the biggest day for any GM because it is the first day of the NFL draft. He feels pressure from all sides including the owner (Frank Langella), talk radio, potential players and his coaching staff. He is given the opportunity to make a huge splash on this momentous day, but will he capitalize on it or come out looking like a donkey?
While there is plenty of drama during the actual NFL draft, both for the teams and the fans, there is very little felt in the movie. It's is directed by Ivan Reitman, who is certainly a named director, but more well known for the comedies he has made. He has never really done a dramatic film before and while there is humor in "Draft Day" the movie is a drama.
The effort to create drama is there. Every time the audience is introduced to a new team there is a aerial shot of the stadium as the camera rapidly flies towards it. The city and the name of the home team flashes across the screen to a dramatic music score. That's about dramatic as those scenes get. The movie also features a clock counting down the hours and minutes of when the draft is about to start, but that does not add anything much either. There is supposed to be tension at times, you know that is what the scene calls for, but it's just not there.
There is also a subplot going on between Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner in the movie, but there is no chemistry between the two in the slightest. Jennifer has worked with Ivan's son, Jason on the movie "Juno" and the son certainly got a better performance out of the star than the father.
One interesting aspect about "Draft Day" is the way it was edited. Split screen shots are utilized often in the movie, often during phone conversations and they work really well. They are not just simple split screens, sometimes a character may cross from one side of the screen to the other, walking in front of the character they are speaking to and it is seamlessly edited. Dana E. Glauberman and Sheldon Kahn are the editors on the movie. Both have worked with Ivan Reitman in the past and they should be given their props for the work they have done on this movie.
Perhaps if you are a big football fan who follows both college and profession football then "Draft Day" will be more exciting for you to watch. Maybe the movie will give you a feeling of what draft day is really like for an NFL team. Ivan Reitman has not directed a bona fide hit in the 21st Century; however, he does have Kevin Costner in a sports movie, so perhaps that tide can turn before word of mouth gets around. It is PG-13 brief strong language and sexual references.