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IVAN REITMAN DIRECTS KEVIN COSTNER IN DRAFT DAY

year: 2014 rating: **
It's 2014, and Kevin Costner returns in one of several "comeback" vehicles…

Just yesterday he was a slowburn action hero in THREE DAYS TO KILL, and now he only has one day, that’s right, DRAFT DAY, where Costner’s brooding Sonny Weaver Jr., the Cleveland Brown’s general draft manager and son of the recently-departed beloved ex-coach, has to make an extremely important decision…

Although you’d never know Junior has anything on the line, at least not during the talky first half as director Ivan Reitman – in revitalizing the split-screen device by having characters invade the frame of the neighboring square – centers more on glossy aesthetic than moving the story along.

Weaver's peripheral romance with Jennifer Garner’s executive lawyer, Ali, is dull and pointless, as are the conversations with his opinionated mother (played by Cult Film Freak’s favorite actress, Ellen Burstyn). In the lead, Costner remains in the kind of mellow mode he’s gotten away with in the past, and now just seems lethargic, hardly commanding the screen at all.

But Kevin and sport's fans alike, have patience: behind the meetings and phone-calls there's an actual plot unraveling, which, surprisingly, is more like Clint Eastwood’s TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE than MONEYBALL: when a lucrative quarterback seems the all too perfect candidate to save The Browns, not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel, but an actual tunnel is formed…

Thus DRAFT DAY gets somewhat intriguing: as the minutes tick down to the televised event the film's named after, we learn more and more about the desired QB’s Achilles’ heel (which only Weaver can spot), adding a mysterious element to a story that’s all talk and no play otherwise.
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