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Days of Thunder
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Days of Thunder

Days of Thunder was a 1990 movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes and Michael Rooker.

Days of Thunder revolved around a talented, hot-shot auto racing rookie, Cole Trickle (Cruise), who seeks to win on the NASCAR circuit. His mechanic mentor, Harry Hogge (Duvall), acts as his crew chief and Dr. Claire Lewicki (Kidman) is a young and beautiful brain surgeon who tries to tame Cole.

The movie received middling reviews from critics who mostly shrugged off the sometimes over-the-top special effects and plot that, in many ways, resembled the earlier Bruckheiemer, Scott and Cruise vehicle, Top Gun. Some NASCAR aficionados also took offense at the overuse and exaggeration of the bump-and-grind action of NASCAR, featuring bumping maneuvers between cars that were overly dangerous and uncommon, even for the period of time in NASCAR history that the movie was filmed. This included a scene where Cole, after having been knocked out of a race at the very end by an opponent, instructed his pit crew to replace his flattened tires, proceeding to run out on the track and smash his car into the victorious rival who knocked him out of the race.

Kidman's casting as a brain surgeon was also panned by some critics; as a stunning 23-year-old who looked that age or younger, she looked completely implausible as a doctor, let alone a surgeon (who typically do not begin to practice until their thirties). Her casting probably had a considerable amount to do with Cruise's real-life interest in her - they married soon after.

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