Draft Day – Film Review

Score

Ivan 'Ghostbusters' Reitman directs Kevin Costner in a soapy drama set in the world of American Football

Each summer in America the National Football League (NFL) puts on a televised red carpet event as its 32 teams pick their new players from a draft of hundreds of college rookies. Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) plays Sonny Weaver, the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, facing up to seven rounds of choices to improve the future of his failing team.

Gambling his team’s prized 1st round pick, while playing mind games over the phone with other coaches, he angers his mum who thinks he’s damaging the legacy of his late father who was the team’s legendary coach. Meanwhile, he ignores the needs of his pregnant girlfriend – a thankless role for Jennifer Garner who is way too good to play this supporting role. Unfortunately, the intention to inject a family backstory into the unfolding Draft Day shenanigans feels like a hackneyed after thought. You get the feeling that this NFL sanctioned story isn’t allowed to reflect any of the game’s real controversy and instead opts for the core family values approach.

Sean Combs makes a swift but welcome appearance as an agent, Denis Leary has limited scope to influence the story as the team’s new head coach while Chadwick Boseman (who plays James Brown in forthcoming biopic Get On Up) is typically magnetic as a young player waiting on tenterhooks for his big break to come.

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman tries his best to broaden the dramatic appeal of what amounts to a day of gambling with million dollar salaries at stake. But you’ll need at least a passing interest in American football or this film will come across like a soap set in the world of a technically impenetrable sport.

Details

Director: Ivan Reitman
Release date: 03 Oct, 2014