Days of Thunder (1990)
Dir: Tony Scott
They make a left turn… then another left turn… Whatever will they do next?… Oh, a left turn!
‘Days of Thunder’ is the second collaboration between director Tony Scott, and Tom Cruise, 4 years after the 80’s classic ‘Top Gun’. That film was a huge box-office success, and this one seems to have tried to replicate the formula. It follows rookie Nascar driver Cole Trickle (Cruise) as he works his way to the top, and the bumps he has along the way.
Just like ‘Top Gun’ it is about men competing while operating fast vehicles, with rivalries, and friendships formed along the way. However, it’s not quite as witty or fun. Cars going round on a simply shaped track are nothing like aircraft pulling manoeuvres in the sky, and so not as interesting to watch. The racing is then moved to different places at times to try to spice it up, on the roads, and even racing wheelchairs through a hospital.
Essentially it is like many of Tony Scott’s films, a bit of fun entertainment that checks all the required boxes with speed, rivalry, friendships and a love interest (most interestingly with this film between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman who married as a result of it). Sadly there’s little more to it than that, and it’s fittingly predictable, just like all those left turns.