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Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren't enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.
All Critics (62)
| Top Critics (17)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (38)
| DVD (7)
Like the previous Simpson-Bruckheimer pictures, it's designed to give audiences an overdose of the thrill of victory; it wants us to jump out of our seats, pumping our fists in the air and roaring for the hero to pulverize his opponents.
This is the kind of monstrously overgrown commercial movie that depends entirely on the microscopic pleasures of having one`s most routine expectations fulfilled.
Whoosh!! Days of Thunder just streaked in, fast as a race-car paint job and about as flat.
Not only does Days of Thunder disappoint on the basic narrative level, it is also a peculiarly thrill-less action movie. Shot from the driver's point of view, the race sequences lose their novelty as swiftly as a video game.
Days of Thunder does accomplish the job it sets out to do. It's sometimes funny, sometimes exciting and never too boring or offensive. In a disappointing movie season -- as this one has started out to be -- that can seem like quite an accomplishment.
Good writing by Robert Towne and a host of strong supporting performances complement the on-the-track visuals of director Tony Scott in giving us a sense of the leap of faith that is required by drivers at this level.
The only historically noteworthy thing about this big, dumb testosterone fantasy is the first screen teaming of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
[It] was not so much about innovation and originality as it was about recycling the same themes about the glories of victory and the triumph of professionalism, which Days of Thunder produces in droves, but without any real impact.
The most daring thing about his cat-and-mouse game with Kidman is how erotic Noyce makes it.
A Formula One stock car racing flick that's formulaic and cliche-ridden.
'90s race-car blockbuster has sexism, profanity.
Dispensing with all notions that Days of Thunder is a critical work of any sort reveals its hollow and misogynistic underpinnings.
Like Top Gun with racing stock cars, it may not be really original and is quite predictable actually, but it has a very good soundtrack and Tom Cruise injecting a lot of energy into a two-dimensional character who lacks sufficient depth and motivation for us to care.
Dr. Claire Lewicki: You and Rowdy have the same sickness, it's called denial and it's probably going to kill you both.
"Cruise like Thunder"
Days of Thunder is a decent, entertaining action thriller that is extremely similar to another Tony Scott, Tom Cruise collaboration, Top Gun. The movie manages to entertain when on the racetrack like Top Gun was able to entertain when in the air, but like Top Gun on the ground; Days of Thunder suffers when away from the race track. Tony Scott can always keep the corniness coming though, with scenes like the two race car drivers racing each other in wheelchairs in the hospital after a crash.
Cole is a young and unknown stock car driver who is brought on to drive a race car for a used cars salesman and a man named Harry who has a lot of experience with stock cars is hired to build the car and lead the team. Soon Cole, after some growing pains, is one of the best drivers out there, until a crash puts him out for awhile. In the meantime, he meets an attractive doctor, who he forges a relationship with, but he struggles to get his confidence back with the race car.
Like I said away from the track the movie falls apart. I like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and I've seen them on screen with good chemistry before, but here it's just dead. Probably has more to do with writing then anything else as those two weren't horrible, the scenes with them together just didn't go anywhere.
All in all this is a forgettable racing thriller with a solid cast and a noteworthy director who always seems to let style and "coolness" overweigh substance. Still there's always fun to be had with a Tony Scott film as longer as you're willing to accept it for what it is. It's a popcorn flick and nothing else. I wouldn't say it's worth a look, but it certainly isn't so bad you'd feel you'd wasted your time. Then again maybe you would.
You can't outrun the thunder.
Very good movie! I enjoyed it from beginning to the end. Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall did an excellent screen combo. I think the supporting cast was good also. Very nice ending full of adrenaline!
Days of Thunder revolved around a talented, hot-shot auto racing rookie, (# 46 and 51) Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise), who, after trying his hand in the American open wheel ranks, seeks to win on the NASCAR circuit. His mechanic mentor, Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall), acts as his crew chief. He also develops a romantic relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman), a young brain surgeon who tries to tame him. Lo and behold, just when he thought it was safe and easy to get back into a race car and drive, an arrogant and dangerous newcomer by the name of Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes) doesn't make it easy on him as he picks on him because he knows he can get away with it since not only did he substitute drive Trickle's Pink Superflo car while Cole was in the hospital, but now he is teammates with him under the selfish, bullheaded car owner Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) as the new superstar Nascar was looking for with Rowdy Burns out.
Very much the same style as Top Gun, a perfect match between Tom Cruise and Tony Scott. I think it's often mistaken as a mindless nascar film, when it's really much more than that. It really works on sort of an operatic level, saying a lot about trust and determination. You can't really pick anything out that is bad about this, it's just way too much fun and harmless. Tom Cruise is perfect as Cole Trickle, the greatest Nascar driver to ever live. It's also a great start by Nicole Kidman, the Australian doctor from heaven.
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