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Regardless of your opinion of NASCAR racing, this is an incredibly fun
Is it creative? No. It's pretty obvious that it's the same thing as Top Gun. The only difference is maturity. Over the years, Tom Cruise had developed into a fine actor, and when coupled with Robert Duvall (in a spectacular performance) and a surprising Randy Quaid, Days of Thunder becomes a film which gets pretty much any guy involved in it.
I personally hate NASCAR, but still I find this film absolutely riveting, and every time I watch it, I suddenly have a desire to go race my car down the highway. In fact, the biggest argument against this movie is that it does get to the testosterone.
The music for Days of Thunder sets it up perfectly. Hans Zimmer does an effective job with his second Cruise film in two years (Rain Man was the other), and The Spencer Davis Group's Gimme Some Lovin' makes some plotless racing scenes worth watching.
The script, penned by Bob Towne, is far more clever than the average action movie and actually creates some serious character depth for Cole and Rowdy, although Cary Elwes' character seems excessively evil.
But, all in all, this is an action movie that works for Cruise fans, even if they don't like action movies. 8.5 out of 10 (On a pure enjoyment basis).
This movie is basically paying homage to Top Gun. The same team that made
that movie a success got together to create another pumped up movie.
Cruise plays Cole Trickle, a very cocky and smooth indy car driver that lost his ride and decided to head to NASCAR with team owner Tim Daland,(Randy Quaid), and be coached by legendary crew chief Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall). During the Daytona 500 Cole and nemesis Rowdy Burns are involved in a nasty wreck that hospitalizes both of them and threaten to end their careers. They become friends but Cole realizes his mortality and must overcome it if he is to ever race effectively again.
This has better romantic chemistry than Top Gun. Due in part to the fact that Cruise and Kidman really were attracted to each other and we know the rest is history. The action scenes are great and filmed superbly. It's also a very loud movie. It received an Oscar nomination for best sound. It's just another mindless action movie to help relieve boredom. 7 out of 10.
First of all this movie has Tom Cruise in it, which to be honest is the reason that I hesitated for so long to see it. Secondly It's about NASCAR for Christ's sake! The problem is, I did enjoy it. I believe its for the reasons that I mentioned that I actually did enjoy it. An escapist sort of entertainment that puts you in a place that you would really never even consider going. I was forced to rent this recently by a friend and after sitting about 15 minutes in to it I just let go and let the colors and sounds wash over me. This movie is the visual equivalent of a music video with dialog. Every scene is short and to the point, and if its forward momentum you are looking for in your movies then you've come to the right place. The entire duration of the movies length I kept thinking that I wish there were more movies made that took you to another world the way this one does. Tony Scott you've done it again sir, Congratulations!
The producers, director and star of Top Gun get together again for this above average racing drama. Its nowhere near as good as Top Gun of course but its no disaster. Tom Cruise is good as the daftly named racing driver Cole Trickle and the ever reliable Robert Duvall offers classy support. Michael Rooker is excellent as Toms rival and Randy Quaid shows a more serious side to those who only know him from the Vacation movies. Surprisingly the usually good Nicole Kidman is rather bland as the love interest although to be fair she's not given a heck of a lot to work with. The music is of course all important in a movie like this and it has a pretty good soundtrack including Maria McKee's Number One hit Show Me Heaven, but again Top Gun had a much better soundtrack with Hans Zimmmer no match for Harold Faltermeyer. Tony Scott directs with his usual style, if you have seen Top Gun or Beverly Hills Cop 2 you'll no what to expect, very flashy and VERY LOUD. With a slightly less predictable story this could have been a lot better but as it is its a pretty enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours.
Boy, Tom Cruise had that obnoxious character down pat for quite some
time, didn't he? Here is yet another film in which he plays that type
of annoying character you want to slap in the face (or something else).
Yeah, if you liked Top Gun and his other "pretty-boy" films of this
period - and some were pretty good, actually - you might like this. In
fact, this film might be more popular now since NASCAR is televised so
much more these days. This movie may get a new audience. Frankly, I
could care less about auto racing, back then and now, but I don't hate
it, I love most other sports and I like a good movie. This was only
fair in all categories. Not bad; not good.
Racing fans tell me there wasn't a lot of realism with this and actual NASCAR events - mainly involving sponsorship - back then, but I was looking an entertaining film....and I like Robert Duvall as actor and don't mind gazing at Nicole Kidman (who can also act.) Michael Rooker and Randy Quaid usually portray interesting people, too.
It's basically a story about a guy who wants to prove himself on the race track, and I have no problem with that. It's not a memorable but it's not a waste of time either. You should be reasonably entertained.
If I had to guess the genesis for Days of Thunder had its place in two
areas. First the fact that Top Gun proved to be such a mega-hit for Tom
Cruise that a similar film was almost dictated to be made by Paramount.
But secondly it was reported that on the set of The Color of Money,
co-star Paul Newman got Cruise interested in auto racing so you put
those two things together, Days of Thunder was almost a film that had
to be made.
The film certainly has the feel of NASCAR to it and it takes its place along side such racing classics as Grand Prix, The Racers and Paul Newman's own film, Winning. The story is the teaming of young rookie sensation Cruise and top mechanic Robert Duvall.
Tom's character is a whole lot like the young fighter pilot in Top Gun, a kid with a world of confidence and the ability to make his brag become fact. He's a driver by instinct not knowing a whole lot about the mechanics of a racing car. That's the way he and Duvall complement each other although it's not an easy relationship.
Days of Thunder is also the film on which Tom met Mrs. Cruise number two, Nicole Kidman. She's a neurologist who gets to treat Tom after a crash and also drops the hammer on Cruise's rival Michael Rooker and his career after a serious head injury.
There are also some nice performances by Randy Quaid as the stock car owner and Cary Elwes as another of Cruise's rival drivers.
Fred Dalton Thompson, District Attorney of New York County on Law and Order, former United States Senator, and would be President of the United States is in the cast as the head of NASCAR. If the political thing doesn't work out for Fred, he certainly has the presence and authority to be a baseball commissioner. They'll certainly need another Judge Landis in that job to restore some integrity to that sport.
Days of Thunder got an Academy Award nomination for Sound Recording and it's a good followup film for Top Gun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A very good Tom Cruise action flick; and talk about action...he has the right moves on and off the track. Cruise plays Cole Trickle, an arrogant hotshot with minimum experience driving a stock car, but an uncanny ability to hold his own on the track. He impresses a two-faced Randy Quaid enough to get a car and veteran driver Robert Duvall to build it. Trickle enters a rivalry with the top driver(Michael Rooker), but tragedy introduces him to self-discovery and a beautiful neurosurgeon(Nicole Kidman). Trickle takes on the toughest odds and becomes an even better driver. Also in the cast: Cary Elwes, Fred Dalton Thompson and John C. Reilly. The racing scenes will bring back that feeling evoked by TOP GUN. A hard thumping soundtrack features the likes of: Joan Jett, Elton John, Chicago, Tina Turner and Maria McKee. And yes, it is hard not to notice the Cruise/Kidman chemistry.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was a NASCAR fan before this movie came out, and I still am. This is an enjoyable movie that (somewhat) accurately portrays the on-track action I watch on Sundays. To be honest, I didn't care that much about who was in it or the plot that it had, I was in it for the racing from the beginning. The actors and writing hold it together and, from a fan's perspective, the racing is great, although the cars are incredibly tough and drive all over the walls and each other, something you can't do in a real race. Still, the racing stays true to life and, with one exception, the cars remain on the ground. They don't seem to be on the moon or some other zero-gravity environment like in DRIVEN. If you're a fan of NASCAR, you'll love this movie.
I like NASCAR, and I enjoyed Days of Thunder. The opening sequence at
the Daytona 500 gives me goosebumps and makes me want to crank up the
surround sound - a homage to NASCAR, the late 80s, and Americana. There
were other fun sequences in the movie, like when Cole Trickle is
crashing his car every week and when his crew played a prank on him
after winning his first race. The movie came out during the height of
the "Tom Cruise is Cool" era. And, Cruise is cool in this movie. Robert
Duvall, who plays his crew chief, is even better in the film.
That said, there were so many errors in this film, it's laughable. The racing shots were taken from real races, and the film editing did a poor job of disguising real race cars (like Dale Earnhardt's No. 3) for fictional ones. The timing is off. There's a scene where Tom Cruise is talking but his lips don't move. There's another scene where a character in the movie calls him Tom instead of Cole - really inexcusable that a error that big was missed. The scenes of cars ramming into one another while leading the race wouldn't be possible in reality: they would wreck or cause too much damage to remain at top speed.
By conventional standards, it's a terrible movie. But, somehow, it's still a fun movie! Action on the race track is similar to the action in the sky in Top Gun. If you're up for a little escapism and wish fulfillment, then Days of Thunder lives up to the billing. But, if you're a critical viewer, you won't be impressed by this film - unless you're looking for ways to laugh at its mistakes.
In the Top Gun genre although without the homo eroticism. But a great
performance from Duvall who lights up the screen every time he is on -
which is often. Nicole Kidman lights up the screen as well and not just
for her acting! Cruise is OK as the foil to Duvall's Harry. Tony
Scott's direction is standard for a Bruckenheimer film and deserves
The plot is entirely predictable and there is little tension. Like Top Gun the bits in between the action are too long and the sub plot of the injured driver coming to terms with his forced retirement is tedious and contributes little. BUT see this if only for Duvall's flawless performance.
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