Journal: Drivers' Cinema: Days of Thunder (1990)

Drivers’ Cinema: Days of Thunder (1990)

Avatar By Andrew Schneider
December 18, 2013
8 comments

Tom Cruise made some exceptional films in the ’80s, and these films were created in conjunction with producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. The two greats produced films such as Top Gun (1986) and The Color of Money (1986). In 1990 these men created another film with Cruise called Days of Thunder. This film pulls elements from both Top Gun and The Color of Money to create a story about a stock-car driver who has tons of potential but no sense of putting it to use. He faces rivalries, a mentor, and a love as he chases the dream for the title. This film faces its challenges but overall paints a picture of what we all would hope life as a NASCAR driver would be like. It just seems a little strange that Tom Cruise is missing the seemingly essential Southern accent.

Early stock car racing began in the ’20s and ’30s in Daytona Beach, Florida. The culture grew from the prohibition days as the Americans learned to love driving fast cars and hauling illegal substances from place to place. These hot rods did one thing and they did it well: go fast as hell. NASCAR is a particularly dangerous sport as seen throughout Days of Thunder. Personally, I would consider it to be more dangerous than Formula One, as the pack of cars is so tightly knit for the entirety of the race. There is a constant changing of positions and tons of paint swapping, which makes for an exhilarating experience.

This film tells a good story and had a few moments that had me cheering out loud. But I can get weird with car films, I just love them a little too much. If you have a free evening, buckle your five-point harness and flip on Days of Thunder to see Tom Cruise in his days of glory.

Click here to pick up the DVD on Amazon.

Image Sources: imdb.com, lifebetweenframes.blogspot.com, auto.howstuffworks.com, movieposterdb.com

 

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David Wiles
David Wiles

There are a lot of Nascar drivers who don’t have Southern accents. That’s been true for a long time now. Cruise’s character is supposed to be from California, like Jeff Gordon. As for the film, there are some great racing sequences and Robert Duvall is great as he’s been in basically everything he’s ever done. And Cruise does fine by doing exactly what made him a movie star. That said, the best racing film I’ve ever seen is ‘Truth in 24.’ I like ‘Rush’ as well but it’s the only fictional racing film I’ve seen that works as a movie… Read more »

MistrX
MistrX

I have worked w Mr Cruise a few times and he was the consummate professional, as well as being gracious and kind.

ZeGerman
ZeGerman

This movie is terrible on just about every level. That said, I really enjoyed it when I watched it recently at a local theater in “hecklevision”. The audience was given a phone number to send text messages to which would then be displayed on the screen. Made it [i]much[/i] more entertaining – kinda like Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

TC is not a totlly useless actor, he just needs a director sympathetic to his talents.

Checkout Michael Mann’s Collateral and more recently, Obilivion.

MistrX
MistrX

I worked on Days and during the driver’s meeting before a race at Phoenix, the camera car drivers were sternly warned not pass any actual race cars during the race!

Webb Pinner
Webb Pinner

Did you happen to meet a consultant on set named Pepe Pombo?

JB21
JB21

Tom Cruise has a knack for ruining everything he touches. And did he duly, like everything else. I hate Tom Cruise for being such a lousy actor.

Matt C
Matt C

I am not a big fan of NASCAR but for some inexplicable reason I love watching this film. Yes, it is cheesy and predicatable but the film is shot well and some very good racing scenes.