Set during the fictionalised NFL Draft Day, America’s answer to our transfer deadline day; Draft Day is a sports drama that only serves as a reminder of why I hate sports in the first place. Kevin Costner plays Sonny Weaver, general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who is under a great deal of pressure from his boss, his colleagues and apparently the whole of Cleveland to pick a team that will end their recent slump.
That’s pretty much it in terms of the films plot and attempts to add some human drama in the form of a recently deceased father, as well as a secret girlfriends surprise pregnancy, are unfortunately nowhere near as developed as I would have liked. What we get instead is a stereotypical and over exaggerated portrayal of the sporting world, that borders on the laughably ridiculous.
The male characters are unlikeable, misogynistic and spend most of the time talking to each other in a machismo, chest beating kind of way. The film tries and fails to create a strong female character in the form of Jennifer Garner’s Ali, the secret girlfriend and salary manager who in her own words had to “Fight my way into this game”. Her story could have made for a much better film and despite her important job role, her character is resigned to talking about nothing else other than her pregnancy, and has no impact whatsoever on the films outcome.
All the people making decisions in the film are all in fact men and that in itself is disappointing; more so because they are all horrible characters who moan about their $30 million wage being on the line, as well as other frivolous problems that are to say the least, difficult to relate to. That’s the biggest problem with the film, that there’s nothing to relate to. Seeing such a big deal made about a sport, with scenes of people actually rioting out of dissatisfaction at a transfer choice, felt utterly improbable and irritated me deeply.
I know people will say that my lack of enjoyment and enthusiasm stems from my dislike of sport, but I’ve seen many sports films this year such as Seve and Believe that I’ve actually really enjoyed. The problem here doesn’t lie with me, but with the film itself. For all of the talent involved, with Ivan Reitman at the helm and a great cast across the board, Draft Day is an unavailing and tiresome bore that offers little in way of development or emotion. I’d rather watch the entirety of an actual football match than this, it’s really that bad.
Far from the victory I was promised, it’s available on demand right now if you fancy wasting five pounds. My advice is don’t.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com