Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Tom Cruise
Robert Duvall
Nicole Kidman
Randy Quaid.
Directors
Tony Scott.
Screenwriters
Tom Cruise
Robert Towne.
Running Time
107 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Last Knights
2 Star Empire Rating
Child 44
2 Star Empire Rating
Sixteen
3 Star Empire Rating
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Five Years, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Sweet Smell of Success
5 Star Empire Rating

Days of Thunder
Cruise hits the accelerator. Again.


submit to reddit


Plot
Hot-headed stock car driver Cole Trickle strives to succeed on the Nascar circuit but his attitude could well ruin his chances. Teamed with seasoned old trainer Harry Hogge he could just have a chance, but falling for his doctor, Clare Lewicki, isn’t going to help.


Review

A study in the purification of American moviemaking into something preordained for success. This shiny great Hollywood machine is built of matchless commercial rivets: Tom Cruse, risen into the zenith of his stardom; the sharp instincts of producers Don Simpson (who takes a cameo) and Jerry Bruckheimer; a concept fusing the brash machsimo of Top Gun and the pupil-mentor tutelage of The Color Of Money; and the preternatural good looks of Tony Scott’s filmmaking applied to the grunt and muscle of Nascar racing.

It is a movie designed within an inch its life, failure was not an option. That it does fail, so awfully, is also unwittingly written into its very DNA. There was no room to breath inside the brusque deliberateness of its execution. It is a film so thought out, so measured in its shallowness, that it is totally incapable of surprising anyone.

Tom Cruise, who had been pushing away from the template that was making him massive — this petulant youth with father issues, a hot head coasting on charm — through the rank desperation of Born On The Fourth Of July and the testing ground of Rain Man, but this was a stumble back into the unbending straits of formula. Chalk them up: the brash youth (his good self) who must learn to tame himself to succeed; the wise mentor (Robert Duvall) who must impart the legend; the strong female love interest (Nicole Kidman) who nudges the emotion to the surface; the rival as friend (Michael Rooker); the indigestible winner-ethos, where only victory can complete the journey.

There is no doubting the technical skill in putting this construction together, but it bares no trace of romance or heart or basic humanity. Just listen to the syllabic nonsense of the names: Cole Trickle, Harry Hogge, Clare Lewinski; they have the preformed rhythms of a scriptwriter’s smug invention. Every motion, from the clamour of the racetrack to the sparring of teacher and pupil, has been worked out for audience satisfaction and grants none. This is not a real film, it is an automaton, a pod-movie, and, thankfully, proved the death nail for such high-concept filmmaking.

 


Verdict
For die-hard Cruise fans and car mechanics only


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Days of Thunder
Empire Star Rating

Quality

Amazin! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alistairmclean81 at 14:51, 08 May 2006 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for Ice Tea

Showrunner Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The truth about The Beatles and that lawnmower

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Breakdown
Everything you need to know about the second teaser

Podcast #157: Alan Rickman
From A Little Chaos to Die Hard and back again

From Hell! 22 Stalker Psychodramas
From fatal attractions to single white females

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon On The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The American Horror Story director on his cult slasher remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)