If you're a die-hard racing fan or like to pick apart movies for fun, this movie is not for you. However, if you like movies for sheer entertainment, great soundtracks, and a deeper look at relationships in general, this one is brilliant.
Taken at more than face value, the screenplay is brilliantly written. Throughout the movie we see not just supporting characters, but every character dealing with their own individual struggles. We see both sides of every main character, whether it's icy Beau's vulnerability or Demille Bly as part cruel manager and part loving brother. There is no "flat" person in this story; at any time these could be real people at any race track, driving because it's their life.
As far as the acting goes, strong performances from Burt Reynolds and Robert Sean Leonard. Til Schweiger is also fantastic, effortlessly portraying the snobby race-driver Beau Brandenburg. Gina Gershon is to die for as the woman you love to hate, and Brent Briscoe always makes you laugh as the hilarious Crusher. For Pardue, I loved this part for him. Though he does slip up once, his role is absolutely believable from start to finish.
The special effects are pure fun. Not all of them are realistic, but the purpose is to draw you into the atmosphere, which they do.
Don't overthink it, just turn the volume up and enjoy it.
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