Unfortunately for football fans, it has been an all too rare occasion when we get a top-notch film in theaters about our beloved sport. So getting a movie like Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner, is a treat right at the start of the big summer movie schedule. The following is my spoiler-free review of the film.
The idea of being a general manager of a team in the National Football League is the dream of every fantasy football fanatic and die-hard football fan. And there is no bigger venue for GM’s across the league than the NFL Draft. And that’s where this movie begins.
Costner plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the general manager of the lowly Cleveland Browns. And it’s Draft Day. Throughout the biggest day in his personal and professional life, and their franchise’s history, we follow Weaver as he’s bombarded on all sides by fellow GM’s, the team owner, the new head coach, his mother, his ex-wife, his father and the salary cap manager played by the beautiful Jennifer Garner. Oh, and there’s that pesky draft to deal with too.
The movie itself is laid out perfectly. Inventive cut scenes make mundane phone calls exciting. The intensity of the film ramps up just enough to give the audience a chance to breath with a little levity mixed in. And the chemistry and interplay between Costner and Garner help ground this entire fiasco in real life. The acting is spot on and I had a fun ride on this roller-coaster of a day with one NFL GM.
For die-hard football fans, this movie is a “must-see”. But for those of us dragging in non-football fans to the theaters, the drama between the characters should be entertaining enough to keep most involved. It is without a doubt the greatest football film ever to capture how intense front office management can be. And it does so without a lot of actual football being played. Yes, this movie is basically all-talk, in a good way. So younger and more action-orientated viewers will probably find the terminology and verbal exchanges a bit boring. But if you love the hype and craziness surrounding the NFL Draft, you’ll absolutely love this film.