Draft Day (2014)
Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns. One of pro football’s most important days, NFL draft day, is drawing near, but Sonny has much more on his mind than just which players to recruit. His lover (Jennifer Garner) is pregnant, and the team’s owner (Frank Langella) wants to fire him. After Sonny accepts a deal with Seattle that nets him that team’s first-round pick, he immediately wonders if he has made the right choice for himself and the Browns.
This movie is basically a two hour long NFL commercial. And being that I have no interest in the NFL, I should have given up after half an hour, but I didn’t. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it. I’m biased because I’m a sucker for sports movies, but I found the draft day aspect interesting.
I’m more of a soccer (football!) fan, and with that we have transfer periods. Nothing as complicated or complex as draft day. Team A buys a player from Team B. Unless Team C offers more money at the last minute and hijacks the deal. That’s basically it. The direct comparison to draft day would be the transfer deadline day where you see all kinds of crazy deals taking place, or in some cases, players driving to a prospect team only for the deal to fall through.
I’m sure most of what Draft Day depicted was bullshit in terms of accuracy, but I enjoyed it. Kevin Costner giving up three first draft picks just to get the number one pick only to get all picks back and basically render the entire movie pointless? Yes, please.
Kevin Costner (or Sonny) spends much of the movie trying to figure out why the Seahawks gave him a player that they apparently wanted all along. Eventually, he lands on money and ends up getting all the two players that he wanted (who weren’t exactly in demand either, but okay).
The plot careens into joke territory when they tease us with a reveal on why Sonny doesn’t want to go with Bo Callahan and it turns out that he’s an asshole because no one went to his birthday party and he lies? That was literally the only reason the writers gave us. Even though one of Sonny’s other picks literally put a man in hospital.
Maybe Draft Day is an accurate reflection of the NFL, I don’t know.
There are a lot of decent actors in the film too.
Chadwick Boseman (RIP) plays Vontae Mack, who ends up being the number one pick. It was bittersweet seeing him on screen after his untimely passing, but I’m yet to see a performance of his that I didn’t like! The moment when he’s picked was probably the best in the movie.
Jennifer Garner plays Sonny’s girlfriend, and there’s a whole romance angle that I sort of daydreamed through. Sam Elliot shows up. David Ramsey is in this (THE DIGGLER!). Tom Welling plays an older quarterback who’s making a comeback.
P. Diddy is also present. Along with Terry Crews and probably a bunch of other people I missed.
All in all, I’d give it a 5/10. It was entertaining and passed the time, but I wouldn’t watch it again.