“Sometimes the correct path is the tortured one!” –Ali Parker (Jennifer Garner)
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers reign as the only NFL team with six Super Bowl championships, one of our biggest rivalries, the Cleveland Browns, cleaned up nicely for Draft Day. The sport comedy stars Kevin Costner as Sonny Weaver, Jr., General Manager for the Browns who makes the 2014 Draft Day a crazy once when he makes a few risky deals. Draft Day’s other first round acting picks are Frank Langella, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews, Denis Leary, Josh Pence, with a special appearance from Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Die hard Steelers fans please do not fret because there were a few Steel City plugs. And yes, the movie production company could have easily made the movie about Blitzburgh. But according to many reports, even the Buffalo Bills were kicked to the curb because Ohio has cheaper production costs, so it was either the Browns or the Bengals.
Draft Day’s imagery was on point; clear, crisp, and colorful. If the deep, bright orange from the Browns franchise did not stand out, the cool spilt screens whenever two characters were talking would have done it. Of course Draft Day for NFL team executives means that you are constantly on the phone bartering and sweet-talking. So when these phone conversations occur the actors spill over into the other set or screen. Granting, it’s difficult to describe, but it was pretty impressive and innovative.
If you were not truly inspired last year with Chadwick Boseman’s performance legendary baseballer Jackie Robinson in 42, then you are delusional. Nonetheless, Boseman inspiringly plays another athlete, Vontae Mack, in Draft Day. Mack is a humble yet effective Southern defensive football player who is fighting for his spot on the Browns’ roster. Boseman, along with other young Black actors like Michael B. Jordan, Jaden Smith, and Tristan Wilds, have hit the movie scene with a vengeance, displaying strength and great appeal.
I love Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner together. They were like the underdog couple. Rightfully, women are supposed to meet a nice guy, get to know him, get married, have children, and live happily ever after. Realistically, it does not always work out like that. In Draft Day that is exactly what happened with Sonny Weaver and Ali Parker. Between work ethics around fraternizing and personal grief, the biggest task is for the two to come to a common understanding about their relationship. Costner is a charming as he was in The Bodyguard (1992), and Garner has proven herself as the adorable girl from around the corner.
4 STARS: An awesome football and family story about a smaller city built on tradition and sports similar to Pittsburgh.