Opening in theatres this week from Ivan Rietman and Summit Entertainment comes the tale about that one special DRAFT DAY.
This film tells the story about Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner), general manager of the Cleveland Browns football team. Living in the shadow of his father, Sonny must make some harsh choices for the team. Out of the gate he starts with the decision to vie for player Bo Callahan (Josh Pence).
Fighting Sonny left and right is Coach Penn (Denis Leary). He wants the team that will win and doesn’t understand what Sonny is doing. Keeping an eye on the GM is Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman), a player waiting for his time in the sun.
Watching over all of this is Ali (Jennifer Garner), on staff with the Brown’s and also happens to be in a relationship with Sonny. She keeps an eye on the decisions and the bottom line for the team – money.
Everyone has to align in order to make it through the biggest day for players!
FINAL WORD: Costner as Weaver is definitely in his element. From the moment he is on the screen you can see the character developing quickly. Knowing what he wants to do and knowing what he should do are all motivated by the ‘ghost’ of his father. The crescendo builds slowly for Costner’s character and comes out on fire at the end – and it’s a pretty awesome blaze!
Leary as Penn is a man who wants to do the job he was hired to do. It’s pretty clear Penn is aggravated not knowing the game plan and only Leary can pull this off. I’ve always been a Leary fan and, without dating myself, remember him back in the MTV commercials he use to do. Yes kids, he has been around quite while did stand up comedy back in the day.
Garner is interesting as Ali. Trying to balance a quiet relationship with Sonny with a responsibility for the teams financial status, she’s calmer than most of the men on the screen. Willing to give Sonny the benefit of the doubt on all decisions, she also stands up for herself in a position I’m sure not often found led by a woman. I dig that about her character.
Boseman as Vontae pops in and out of the film as a man who wants but also needs to make the team. Boseman was recently received the Breakthrough Performer of the Year at 2014 CinemaCon in March and will be seen soon in the film GET ON UP about the life of James Brown.
Pence as Callohan plays a man who seems to be flying on the seat of his pants. Seen as the Golden Boy of football, not everything that glitters is gold! Ellen Burstyn plays Sonny’s mother and I have to tell you personally, it was a thrill to see her again!
Other’s in the film include some amazing players and sports figures such as Jim Brown, Jeff Darlington, Ken Fiore, Chris Berman, Mel Kiper, Jon Gruden, Deion Sanders, Anthony Rizzo, Alex Mac, Roger Goddell along with Terry Crews as Earl Jennings, Arian Foster as Ray Jennings, Sean Combs as Chris Crawford, Sam Elliott as Coach Moore, Frank Langella as Anthony Molina and Ellen Burstyn as Barb Weaver.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DRAFT DAY four tubs of popcorn out of five. Costner obviously has a niche in sports genre films but he does them so well. This is another example of why Costner still has a large fan base. Still keeping is boyish charm, fans have seen him go from BULL DURHAM to FIELD OF DREAMS to FOR LOVE OF THE GAME and now DRAFT DAY.
You really don’t have to be a fan of football to truly enjoy the film. It is seriously fascinating to see the inner workings of a draft day. Taking the audience step by step really does add some fun to the film. I was watching the audience become enthralled in the story and went wild at the films end.
It was a fun and wild ride in a film full of athletes, sports figures, sports casters and a solid cast to tell a pretty cool football story for another perspective.
In the end – the greatest victories don’t always happen on the field!