Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Days of Thunder (1990)

Driving Really Fast Movie #3

Synopsis: According to Roger Ebert, it’s basically Cocktail, Top Gun, The Color of Money, or nearly any late 1980s/early 1990s Tom Cruise movie on wheels.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “From the engine roar and fever pitch of professional stock car racing, Days of Thunder explodes with the most spectacular action ever captured on film.”

What Did I Learn?: Apparently, tires melt easily at high speeds, so you should never, ever drive a race car terribly fast.

Really?: 1) So Tim’s (Randy Quaid) a great, wait – he’s a money-grubbing, he’s a sweet, loveable good old boy who lends a rival racing team the engine they desperately need. 2) Before he served in the Senate, I guess Fred Dalton Thompson never tired of playing grumpy old fart authority figures. 3) Tom Cruise plays a dude named “Cole”, and yet not one character ever makes a cole slaw joke. 4) I can’t believe Steve Kmetko of KCBS-TV gave this film four stars.

Rating: Days of Thunder is incredibly formulaic (see Synopsis), and a bit juvenile at times, but Robert Duvall gives a great performance as the grizzled old crew chief, and the film offers some decent crashes, so I'll give it a bare recommendation. Meh. 5.5/10 stars.

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