‘Draft Day’ is a cheap box of wine

With good scripts hard to come by directors are regularly tasked with taking bad ones and turning them into wine, albeit cheap Franzia box wine.

Despite having little to work with, Director Ivan Reitman squeezes a watchable movie from “Draft Day” through hyperbole and character development.

“Draft Day” is another banal story fleshed out for the big screen. The writers load the main plot with a line of non sequitur subplots to heighten suspense and build the mounting pressure of the NFL draft.

On the most hectic day of the year, Kevin Costner who plays the Cleveland Browns manager Sonny Weaver Jr., must make a splash in the 2014 draft. Weaver must also manage egos, the news of a pregnant girlfriend, the death of his father, and a concerned mother.

As with all movies, the viewer, especially one familiar with the NFL Draft, must suspend any disbelief since the script exaggerates reality by creating the wackiest draft in the history of drafts.

The movie hinges on big climatic twists that seem plausible in theory but would never happen in the NFL. Though one may scoff, the twists are necessary for a viable movie.

“Draft Day” overcomes the poor script with good character development by pinpointing the human element in persons often misunderstood by football fans.

Reitman relays well each character’s passion for the sport by emphasizing the professional aspect of the NFL for all involved, from owners and managers, to coaches and players, and to tax attorneys and interns.

Some of this development may also be credited to the acting.

Kostner and Jennifer Garner gave notably dry performances that are suited for their roles. Denis Leary fits the profile of a hot-headed coach who is desperate to win. Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in “42,” gives the best performance of the film displaying his versatility and emotional range as a draftee.

To put the icing on the cake, the cinematography sets the milieu of an NFL Draft. Reitman flashes graphics in a typical NFL Network fashion and utilizes split screens in a way where a character spills onto the other screen.

The effects gave the film a fast paced and realistic feel that engages the viewer into the plot. For the careful viewer, however, realism falls apart when Commissioner Roger Goodell at the drafting podium is cheered by fans.

“Draft Day” succeeds given the tools it has to work with. The movie passes, but unless you have a taste for Franzia, it is better left for Netflix.