I was among the first to see the Draft Day movie on Friday afternoon. Mostly because I couldn’t wait. But also because I wanted to review it for all of you. Yes, you are welcome. It’s just one of the services I provide.
There were only about a dozen people in the theater for one of the first showings of Draft Day. Granted, it was a beautiful day in Indianapolis and the last thing most people probably wanted to do was go sit in a dark movie theater. But, I wanted to see football. And my husband obliged.
Draft Day has been touted as, “the best sports movie since Jerry Maguire.” So naturally, I went in thinking Jerry Maguire. I didn’t get Jerry Maguire. I didn’t get Waterworld. But, I definitely didn’t get Jerry Maguire. So, The Blind Side still holds the lead as best sports movie since Jerry Maguire in my humble opinion. And Draft Day doesn’t even come close.
Draft Day has some interesting behind-the-scenes looks at the NFL draft. Some of them are realistic, some of them – not so much. But where the film really misses is with the characters (or lack thereof). After a fairly quick one hour and forty-nine minutes, I can honestly tell you there was only one character I cared about – even a little bit. He was Vontae Mack (played by Chadwick Boseman), a linebacker draft prospect channeling Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire. He was only in a few scenes and mostly while talking on the phone.
Kevin Costner, who plays Kevin Costner (just like he does in every other movie), goes by the name of Sonny Weaver Jr. this time, General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. You know who should have played Weaver? Thomas Dimitroff, the actual GM of the Atlanta Falcons. He not only looks like a movie star, but has a personality and is likable. Also, he would have had a lot more chemistry with Jennifer Garner.
Garner plays Costner’s (I mean, Weaver’s) coworker and love interest. A likeable actress in a role with almost no depth. As the salary cap manager for the Browns, all we know about “Ali” is that she’s sleeping with the GM, is pregnant with his child, and chooses the morning of the draft to tell him. Which had me thinking (in my best Cris Carter voice), “C’mon, man!”
Then, there’s Weaver’s mother Barb (played by Ellen Burstyn). Who insists on spreading the ashes of her late husband (Sonny Weaver Sr.), the former coach of the Browns (who Sonny Jr. fired – we find out later for health reasons), on the practice field the day of (you guessed it) the draft. Again…C’mon man!
Also making an appearance is Rosanna Arquette. As Barb Weaver’s sidekick and Sonny’s ex wife. With absolutely no explanation whatsoever. C’mon man!
Tom Welling stars as Brian Drew, the current Browns quarterback rehabbing from a knee injury. This guy is everything you want in a quarterback – handsome, likeable, with a beautiful family. And played by a great actor – with a very small part. What a missed opportunity. C’mon, man!
And here come the spoilers. If you plan to see Draft Day and you don’t want to know the plot, stop reading now. But come back later, because I know you’ll agree with me.
Last Warning: Spoilers!
Josh Pence, who plays Bo Callahan, is everything you don’t want in a quarterback. A cross between Johnny Manziel and Geno Smith, he suffers a first pick snub for being a liar…only to be drafted six positions later. C’mon, man!
And perhaps the biggest farce of all, after magically turning one first round pick into two (plus a punt returner), Sonny Weaver takes, wait for it…a running back. At number six?! C’MON, MAN!!!
And then, it’s over. We are lead to believe that Sonny Weaver Jr. changed the course of the most tragic team in NFL history.
But the best line of the whole movie came when it was over. As the credits are rolling, my husband leans over and says, “And they went 3-13.”
Disclaimer: I don’t know if Vontae Mack was a bang or a bust or if Ali got the right guy, but my husband Michael was the pick of a lifetime for me. And today is his birthday. So…happy birthday, baby. I love you!
I did not love Draft Day. But I did love the football scenes, which were few. And far between.