Talented rookie race-car driver Jimmy Bly has started losing his focus and begins to slip in the race rankings. It's no wonder, with the immense pressure being shoveled on him by his overly ambitious promoter brother as well as Bly's romance with his arch rival's girlfriend Sophia. With much riding on Bly, car owner Carl Henry brings former racing star Joe Tanto on board to help Bly. To drive Bly back to the top of the rankings, Tanto must first deal with the emotional scars left over from a tragic racing accident which nearly took his life.Written by
I got will and I got faith. I believe you can will yourself in anything and do anything. And faith, that is like believing in something, man that's like having a good disease. It's contagious, if you hang around with people who have it you're gonna catch it, and its gonna change your attitude.
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In the original version of the film when Memo Heguy's (de la Fuente) car wrecks and is thrown upside down in the river, Joe Tanto (Stallone) jumped into the river with Jimmy Bly (Pardue) to save him. Beau Brandenburg (Schweiger) was not involved in this scene at all originally. But director Renny Harlin thought that it made the Beau Brandenburg character look totally heartless. So Stallone rewrote the scene taking his character Joe Tanto out of it completely. He instead put his character in the pits the entire time. The scene was partly reshot in a similar location in California, instead of returning to Germany where the original scene was filmed. Stallone wrote that the Brandenburg character turns his car around and helps save Memo from drowning. Parts of the original scene featuring Joe Tanto, were for the most part not reshot. Digital Effects company Pixel Magic digitally erased Tanto out of the scene. Aside from this scene, other scenes involving Beau Brandenburg were rewritten during filming to make his character more likable and misunderstood. Some of these scenes include the ending of the film and a scene where Brandenburg denies a female fan a kiss. See more »
I went to this expecting a bad action movie with good effects. After all, it was written by and stars King of Cheese Sly Stallone, was directed by the grand Cheesemaker Renny Harlin and features Burt Reynolds, who was making cheesy car crash movies when Sly was still a bit player.
What I discovered was a racing movie that desperately wanted to be more... it aims for Rocky but lands somewhere around Rocky IV. There is actually an attempt at a more complicated story that your typical sports movie. I will give them points for the attempt, but I think Sly is overreaching, as his writing ability is unable to keep up with his goals. The female characters are underdrawn, mostly unnecessary, and for act 3 unseen. The dramatic structure is rather unfocused as well, In trying to have an antagonist who really isn't such a bad guy, the challenge for the hero isn't as compelling, plus, it's unclear who the real lead of the film is- Sly or the kid. Sly simply has too many plot lines and character arcs going on and can't quite successfully juggle them all.
I accept that in a race movie like this, the races themselves are going to be shown in a "heightened" manner that isn't realistic, and will of course feature far more crashes than ever actually occur. Given that caveat, I found the crashes, often done with digital effects to be quite thrilling & harrowing. Where the digital effects clearly fail though were during the last race for the otherwise impossible to get camera angles, which looked like video game shots. I had to wonder if near the end they started running out of money to fully render the shots.
As for comparisons to Days of Thunder, any objective reviewer will tell you that that film sucked. This one isn't much better, but at least it tries harder.
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