Sunday, April 13, 2014

Draft Day Is A Major Bust

With an aging comedy director at the helm, two newbie writers, and an old celebrity trying to prove he can still helm a movie, Draft Day seemed like it should have vied for more legitimacy than what I witnessed on screen the other day.
Even the poster's lame.
Let's start with the pros. Um... uh... Denis Leary's in it...
um... and... uh... Frank Langella.
Okay cool. I like those two guys...

So if those are the pros, what else is there?
Well in a movie about an incredibly intellectual event, one would expect the guys running the show (the GMs) to muster up a little intelligence. But somehow that is not the case. From the very first moment, the movie goes rogue and starts basing this in a world where none of these men seem to deserve their jobs even remotely. While following Costner's Sonny Weaver Jr., we're meant to care about him and his terrible horrible no good decision making as if he's the good guy and has somehow earned his status. But then the whole movie is about how he never has earned his job. In reality his entire fight is with the fact that he is legitimately incompetent. The Seattle GM wasn't joking at the beginning when he asked for "the most desperate guy" they know. And it's very meta when you think about just how desperate Costner's performance was. The guy so badly wants a career again, but every time he's allowed even a little bit of control over a project, he muffs it up.
Costner smiling... I don't remember that ever happening in this movie.
You don't have to look far for the next question. When was this movie originally written? And why wasn't it in some way fixed to fit the current NFL situation? If you're basing your football history on reality (as they were, sighting Andrew Luck as a great draft prospect of the past), it feels ill timed to be giving the Seattle Seahawks the number one over all pick the year after they won the Super Bowl. Especially when there was clear knowledge from the year before that they would at least be in the running for it. This screams laziness to me. And as a football fan makes me want to stop other fans from buying tickets.
Now I need to comment on the initial setup for this film. Costner gets himself into trouble right off the bat by trading his number seven pick for the number one over all. Okay... now what else does he have to give up? Two more first round picks. That's three first round picks in all... THREE FIRST ROUND PICKS?!?! Are you kidding me? This is the setup to your entire film and immediately you want us to believe that a GM would be this stupid? For a player he didn't want in the first place? Forget about the owner pressuring him, forget about the fans. The whole time Costner won't shut up about wanting to create his own team. But then, every step of the way, he folds to one person's opinion or another. He's not his own man no matter what the film may try to tell you.
I'm not one to give away spoilers. But the climax of the movie is somehow even worse than the initial trade. I sat there watching in disbelief as the writers made a complete mockery of the draft process and sharted up in my face what they somehow seemed to hope was a legitimate ending. If you, as a filmgoer, care a single iota about realism or earning your emotional moments... well just forget this movie ever existed. Because these guys certainly don't think any of that stuff matters.

Draft Day is the kind of movie that keeps me from getting to sleep at night. I fear experiences like that worse than I fear getting into a car accident or accidentally swallowing glass. I'm gonna come out and say it, Draft Day is the first movie of 2014 to officially make my MOVIES I HATE list. Watch it at your own risk.

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