Kyle J. Steenblik

Draft Day is commercial yet satisfying.

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draft-day-kevin-costner-movie-posterI did not want to see Draft Day. I am not interested in sports in the slightest, so a film about the NFL Draft was unappealing. The main reason I had for wanting to skip this one is my desire to be objective. If a film subject matter is one I feel I couldn’t be fair and objective in my review I will pass. Even the worst film deserves a fair review, and does not deserve mistreatment simply because the critic objected to the subject. I always love being suppressed by a film, and I love it even more when it is a good surprise. Not only was I entertained by Draft Day, I enjoyed it; I was even able to follow the plot through the incomprehensible (to me) sports ball references.
I found the film to be visually very interesting and aesthetically pleasing while he dialogue was well paced, snappy, and well written. The overall presentation of the film was highly commercial; it was very reminiscent of the production one would see during the superb owl, minus the commercials. If you object to blatant product placement in your movie going experience, this may be a little too much to swallow; it does flirt with the border between entertainment and advertisement.
Draft Day follow Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) after he trades Seattle for the number one draft pick. Team owner Harvey Molina (Frank Langella) expects that he will pick Heisman winner Brian Drew (Tom Welling), the current frontrunner for the number one pick. However, this puts Sonny at odds with Coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) who hates rookie quarterbacks. Sonny also has another problem, he is not sure he wants Brian Drew, he wants Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman), and Ray Jennings (Arian Foster). Sonny has to decide quickly whom he wants, and what he is willing to trade to get them.
There are several points where Draft Day is a very successful and dynamic drama, and points where it is an amusing comedy.  It serves as a nice reminder that Kevin Costner can be good at both if given the right part.  He has a hilarious dry delivery that I’ve always loved, and an earnest quality that makes him a perfect everyman while leaving an audience with no problem believing he can be extraordinary at the same time.   It was like watching an old friend onscreen. 

The only genuine problem I have with this film is the massive amount of blatant product placement, and branding.  I don’t like my movies looking like television commercials; it takes me out of the moment and undermines the artistic integrity of the film.  Yet in spite of this Draft Day is satisfying to watch, and should be a favorite among sports, especially NFL, fans.  7.5 out of 10

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