A flashy, pre-packaged racing picture featuring stock cars and stock situations. Veteran crew chief Duvall's efforts to get the naturally gifted Cruise to drive within the mechanical limits of the car provide the character-building father/son conflict. Kidman meanwhile provides the obligatory love interest as an improbably young doctor who offers TLC and a little more besides after Cruise is involved in a near-fatal crash. The plot's driving momentum is lost when Cruise's arch-rival (played with quiet intensity by Rooker) is badly injured in the same crash, to be replaced by insipid Val Kilmer-lookalike Cary Elwes. The resulting tedium is relieved only by Kidman's spirited berating of Cruise for his infantile macho desire to control his unruly emotions, and by yet another sterling performance from the ever-excellent Duvall.
Cast and crew
Fred Dalton Thompson