Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Draft Day - Review

Looking to keep his job as general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) makes a harsh deal with the Seattle Seahawks, in order to obtain the first overall pick of the NFL Draft. Twelves hours before the big show, he must choose one of three college stars looking to wear brown and orange, all the while keeping his sanity in check and appeasing everyone on the team, from the owner (Frank Langella) to the scouts to the new head coach (Dennis Leary) to the current players. DRAFT DAY is a very predictable movie, so much so that I was waiting for the lone bust of the rookies to start twirling his mustache. That being said, the crowd-pleaser does at least show the chaotic nature of the football world, from the mass consumption and quick response when rumors begin floating on the web to the underhanded tactics and slimy wine-and-dining of owners and talent agents respectively. The climax is harrowing, especially when the syrupy score is removed, and makes you feel the pressure of running a sports team. However, instead of following in the footsteps of other suspenseful flicks held indoors or with a strict time limit, director Ivan Reitman undercuts everything thanks to gaudy special effects, produced by Look! Effects. Practically every phone conversation is done in a split-screen, where the divide swoops rapidly in between the two shots or has the figure in one shot bleed into the other. Those of you you have played the Lego video games will recognize this serious misgiving. By utilizing this pompous technique, Reitman sacrifices the craftsmanship of intriguing camerawork and storyboarding. But the real insult done in post-production is how every city is introduced with its name and what football team they host; when a viewer sees a helicopter shot featuring the Seattle Space Needle in the foreground, there's no need for CliffsNotes. The acting is overall good, with Costner doing a fine job as a man standing in the middle of several crossroads. But just like fellow 90's acting darling Harrison Ford in 42, he is overshadowed Chadwick Boseman, who delivers the best performance in a small yet pivotal role. I did feel real bad for Jennifer Garner though, as she has to try and make her role work, despite the setback of her character being the sole female in the office, who of course mechanically says that she worked hard for her job yet still sleeps with her boss. Unless you have passing knowledge of the sports media event, DRAFT DAY will be a complete mystery for you to behold.


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