"...comes on like thunder! It's a winner!" - Joel Siegel, WABC-TV/New York "****Best movie of the summer!" - Steve Kmetko, KCBS-TV/Los Angeles From the engine roar and fever pitch of professional stock car racing, Days of Thunder explodes with the most spectacular racing action ever captured on film. Tom Cruise plays race driver Cole Trickle, whose talent and ambition are surpassed only by his burning need to win. Discovered by businessman Tim Daland (Randy Quaid), Cole is teamed with legendary crew chief and car-builder Harry Hogge (Academy Award. winner Robert Duvall) to race for the Winston Cup at the Daytona 500. A fiery crash nearly ends Cole's career and he must turn to a beautiful doctor (Nicole Kidman) to regain his nerve and the true courage needed to race, to win and to live.
With Days of Thunder
, director Tony Scott tried to do for the Daytona 500 what he did for the U.S. Air Force with Top Gun
. But without Top Gun
's go-go soundtrack and visual feats, Scott merely ends up with a Tom Cruise vehicle that's out of gas.
Cruise plays (what else?) a cocky, upstart stock-car racer who faces down ruthless racing opponents. Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Cary Elwes, and Randy Quaid do the laps around this movie's tiresome track with Cruise, while director Scott attempts to propel the action along with his trademark visceral, gritty but glamorous visual style.
Days of Thunder is notable, however, as a turning point in Cruise's then one-dimensional career. After this film--having tired even his most devoted fans by playing a bartender, an air force pilot, and a stock-car driver--Cruise was forced to take on real character parts. --Ethan Brown