Days of Thunder (1990): Tony Scott’s Formulaic Actioner, Starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

In this trashy, formulaic picture, Tom Cruise plays a quintessential role of his early career, a cocky race driver, who after a traumatic experience of a life-threatening crash, gets back on track and redeems himself with the assistance of a kind and beautiful neu-surgeon (played by the then unknown Nicole Kidman, who would soon become Mrs. Cruise after this picture).

Grade: C (** out of *****)

Director Tony Scott had previously helmed the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” which catapulted Cruise to mega movie stardom.

Quite disappointingly, the cliché’ screenplay was written by the otherwise gifted Robert Towne, though Cruise contributed to the writing as well.

There is no chemistry between Cruise and Nicole Kidman, which would become a recurrent problem in all of their future films together.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Sound: David O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O’Connell, and Charles Wilburn

Oscar Award: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Sound Oscar was “Dances With Wolves,” which swept most of the awards in 1990.