Cole Trickle is given an incredible opportunity to enter the high pressure world of NASCAR racing. Can he keep his anger and attitude under control to be able to race?
Having success and years of experience and winning championships at a lower level Cole is recruited by Chevrolet tycoon Tim Daland to race for his team at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, bringing Harry Hogge out of retirement to lead the pit crew team. Harry left NASCAR to avoid an investigation over the death of Buddy Bretherton so a little bit of a controversial choice!
Trying to adapt to the new type of car he is driving and the high pressure world of NASCAR feeling the intimidation from fellow driver Rowdy Burns. Speaking to the crew whilst he is driving is something Cole is not used to at all and as it turned out he had no idea on the terminology. As different things are adjusted and put in place this helps Cole become a much better driver and starting to not only compete but win. This means that the rivalry with Rowdy becomes huge. When the worst happens and the pair are involved in a serious crash leaving them in hospital, they both must assess what to do next. Cole begins a relationship with Dr. Claire Lewicki who is a neurosurgeon and that is quite a nice sub plot within the film.
I would like to firstly admit that I have zero knowledge of NASCAR and racing in any form really. My biggest issue with this film is that it just felt like it was trying to be Top Gun in cars and never really hits that level. Not managing to recreate it at all.
The performance from Tom Cruise in the leading role is solid enough and that is something that it can have as a massive positive. He is one of the best action stars over the past few decades that is for sure! Good support from Robert Duvall who is always just so impressive in each and every role, an actor who is not afraid to take on parts that are so different to other. Nicole Kidman while in a smaller role is good opposite Cruise and it is easy to see the chemistry between the pair.
I guess after not watching this film at all until this point I was left feeling rather disappointed. Some of the race scenes were impressive but overall this film just didn’t really do it for me.