I was suspicious about “Draft Day” from the moment I saw the trailer 6 months ago. Even more suspicious when Kevin Costner – a guy I still think of as a major, A-list actor – slumming it on radio row at the Super Bowl, going from banquet table to banquet table of fawning, idiot radio hosts.
I smelled desperation. I whiffed a scent of distinct NFL propoganda.
Apparently, I was right.
Slate’s Jack Hamilton lays out the movie worse than when Chuck Bednarik once put Frank Gifford nearly into a coma.
Draft Day seems wrought from Moneyball, a pretty good film based on a great book that, next to Draft Day, looks like The Rules of the Game. Moneyball garnered box office receipts and award nominations and clearly convinced someone that there’s an appetite for Hollywood entertainments about the office politics of pro sports franchises. But Moneyball is based on things that actually happened. It’s also an intellectual history, a movie about ideas and people who have them. Draft Day, on the other hand, is a proudly anti-intellectual film that worships a world in which real men who hate nerds and love grit and heart and strong jawlines are right. Draft Day is ostensibly a movie about futures—after all, what are draft days if not feasts of speculative optimism—that’s terrified of progress. One of the film’s running “gags” involves an emasculated assistant who wears glasses and uses a computer and as such is subject to constant humiliations.
And the worst part of it all, is that truly fearless movie about the NFL and its endlessly fascinating underbelly of money, fame, violence, drugs, women and racial tension… could kick ass!
And please don’t bring up Any Given Sunday, because while that movie touched on some of these themes, it still looks like a cartoon with some of the utterly exaggerated characters and scenes.
But hey, at least Roger Goodell now has a movie he “stars” in, so I am sure he’s gonna order 10,000 of those DVDs to send out as Christmas cards.