Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references
Now showing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
Short Review: This movie will mean nothing to anybody uninterested or unfamiliar with the NFL draft.
Long Review: How does someone make a good movie out of a subject matter that is as dry and corporate as the NFL draft? I’ll let you know when I see one.
Going in knowing that the content would be painfully middle of the road, if only because a movie sponsored by the NFL (like any good propaganda film) must have been sifted through for any questionable or inflammatory content by every owner in the league prior to completion, the only reason I went to see this movie was because I am a fan of the NFL and thought (at the very least) it would be cool to see a football movie that used actual NFL team logos. But after about 5 minutes of that and the relentless barrage of corporate product placement, it all got old and I was forced to pay attention to the story.
Synopsis: Directed by Ivan Reitman (a man who is responsible for far more stinkers than good movies; stop trying to defend him) “Draft Day” tells the story of fictional Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) as he wrestles with what college prospect he will pick on Draft Day. Doesn’t that sound like a riveting idea for a movie? Well, it is slightly more interesting than it sounds, but just slightly.
Right off the bat it is revealed that Sonny is dating a woman named Ali, played by Jennifer Garner; a pairing that not only lacks any chemistry, but is visually off-putting. And aside from an ending that I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed, Dennis Leary’s performance as an unapologetic caricature of Barry Switzer and Chadwick Boseman’s performance as a prospect wildly undervalued by NFL scouts, it’s all downhill from there. Even the direction from this seasoned filmmaker is pretty awful, full of amateurish wipes and an over abundant use of the split screen effect.
Final Thought: While I was interested to see this film through, if only to find out what prospect Sonny selected, far too much of “Draft Day” is soap opera dramatic and stiff as hell. But I guess it’s not all Rietman’s fault. He does manage to coax as much theatrical entertainment out of an aspect of football that doesn’t include the act of playing football.
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