Movie Review of Days of Thunder

Tony Scott is a film about an open-wheel race car driver trying to make it in the National Association of Stock Car Racing (MASCARA). Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) is picked up (hired) by race team owner Tim Dolan (Randy Quad). Dolan convinces Harry Hogged (Robert Devalue), a retired crew chief, to come out of retirement and be crew chief to his race team.

Rowdy Burns (Michael Rookery) is Trickles racing nemesis; he is a hot headed driver who will do whatever it takes to win the race. Trickle meets Dry. Claire Electric (Nicole Kidnap), Trickles love interest, after his crash involving Burns at Daytona Speedway. The races at Daytona speedway, along with all of the other races, were filmed on location at real MASCARA tracks. The filming at each of these tracks captured what it is like at a MASCARA race. The fans in the stands were real MASCARA fans, not Just actors. This allowed the movie to have a “more real” feel to me.

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The writer Robert Town, director Tony Scott and co-writer Cruise spent a great deal of time with MASCARA drivers, such as Richard Petty, to get a better understanding of stock cars and MASCARA. In doing so, this made the film a more accurate take on MASCARA. Petty told Town and Cruise about his crash. “He said it was almost in slow motion. ” Cruise said Petty had told him. Petty tells Cruise “All he can remember was that he was looking at the ground, and it was lifting up. ” Petty also told them that he was temporarily blinded from the crash (Rolling Stone 54).

After talking with Petty, “Town develops a story about a guy who had an accident where nothing physical happened to him, but he confronted subsequent problems that are a result of him having more talent than experience” (Rolling Stone 54). Town based Cruise, Devalue and Quad’s characters loosely on real life MASCARA people. The accident or “the big one” as MASCARA fans call it at Daytona Speedway, involving Burns (Rookery) and Trickle (Cruise), Trickle to start looking at certain things differently than he had before. As a result of the accident Trickle meets Dry. Electric. Dry.

Electric plays a big role in helping Trickle, with her “tell it like it is” attitude. Town is showing the viewers a different side in the life of a racer driver, that is not often seen by the fans; that drivers are people too and have many fears. At the Daytona 500, Hogged (Devalue) tells Dry. Electric the reason why Trickle hasn’t gone and seen Burns; “A driver isn’t want to relive history, if you can get a race car driver to a funeral you have made history. ” This is a true statement for many drivers; for Town to show, this makes the movie more interesting to watch for me.

For people who don’t watch MASCARA, this aspect of the film can give them a better understanding, that this sport is not a bunch of guy driving in circles, these are real people who drive something that could kill them at any time. I believe that Town, with the help of Cruise, did a suburb Job in capturing some struggles that not Just MASCARA drivers go through but al race car drivers struggle with. In Ralph Nova’s People Weekly review of Days of Thunder he points out that “that there are such dumb scenes as one where Trickle (Cruise) and Burns (Rookery) engage in a bumper car battle on the streets of Daytona Beach” (People Weekly 11).

I have to disagree with Nova’s take on this scene, I believe this scene shows the viewer’s how deep the teed is between these two driver’s, even though it is not really clear as to how it started or how it ended. Novak also points out that he feels there was an unanswered question to some of the story line. I agree, I feel he was looking for Town to give the answer to how Hedge’s (Devalue) old driver died. I feel that Town left it up to the viewers to decide which version of events they believed Hedge’s or MASCARA’S. Jack Krill’s Newsweek review, points out that the love scene between Dry.

Electric (Kidnap) and Trickle (Cruise) was “cute-dumb” (Newsweek 65). I felt that the love scene was Just right for this movie. There was Just one sex scene, if you can even call it that. The scene showed how Dry. Electric and Trickle progressed in their relationship as friends and lovers. In this scene Trickle and Dry. Electric are in bed and Trickle is ailing her what it is like to drive a race car and what it is like to be in control of something so powerful. Trickle uses sugar packets to demonstrate what it looks like.

This shows me that Trickle is opening up to Dry. Electric and trusting her with his fears. Karol feels bad for Devalue, who has to play a guy who in two different scenes, “has to talk to a racer” (Newsweek 65). I think these two scenes are amazing. In the first scene Hogged (Devalue) is telling the car all of the things he is going to do to get it “race ready’. This scene shows how much Hogged cares about his Job as a car builder, and crew chief. For me, this scene also shows how much Hogged respects the racer, and what potential it has.

This is not Just a hobby or sport to Hogged; this is his way of life. In the second scene Hogged speaking to the car about the upcoming race with Trickle (Cruise), shows Hedge’s concern for Trickle. Concern that Hogged felt he could not express to Trickle with all that he was dealing with already. Talking to the car was Hedge’s outlet and made him feel a little more at ease after giving the car instructions on how to “handle” Trickle. Days of Thunder has drama, action and even “the big one,” what more you could ask for in a movie, for me not much more.