Ever since the film was released, I've been on the wait, hoping that this movie would be a big hit, a great racecar flick, a movie that would show us as realistic as possible, the action that auto racing delivers every Sunday afternoon. Then the bad reviews started showing up, the stakes were raised up higher, and my conscience was in doubt and in faltering hopes. But as a devoted racecar fan, I pushed on and went to see it anyway. The result, It wasn't as fun as I expected, sure it had some good racing moments, but man, it's almost a disappointment. I really expected more from this film, and it let down in many places, despite some good racing moments, and at the end of the show, I felt bad, because it would've been a better film than what it was now.So, Jimmy Blye (Kip Pardue) is a hotshot rookie competing in the CART FedEx Series, who has had a terrific first season. He has won five races and is rivaling driver Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger) for the yearís championship. But the sudden fame that Blye has gotten, has also risen up the pressure to perform better, and soon, he starts cracking under it. Team owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) sees this, and decides to bring back retired race driver and old friend Joseph "Joe" Tanto (Sylvester Stallone), back to the racing circuit to help Blye out and support him so he can be back in form. Tanto reluctantly agrees since he sees a chance of redeeming himself of the violent past he had since he at his time was also on the rise, but a bad crash almost killed him and another driver (guess who it was?), and put an end to his career. Tanto has now to find a way of helping Blye, who's been madly managed by his brother Demille (Robert Sean Leonard), and also come to terms with his ex-wife Cathy (Gina Gershon), who's now married to Brazilian driver Guillermo "Memo" Moreno (Christian De La Fuente). Tanto also must deal with reporter Lucretia Clan (Stacy Edwards) who's writing about the impact the sport in the world, while Jimmy is off chasing Brandenburgís estranged ex-wife Sophia Simone (Estella Warren).
"Sometimes I Feel Embarrassed Of Being A Racecar Fan."
Lets get to the racing parts of the film first. Most of the race sequences were pretty good, and the in-car sequences were also great, since it gives you the driverís perspective on how he sees and concentrates while he's driving. Those sequences were worth praise; since we finally get to see the driverís point of view of the race he's competing in, something that most race movies don't usually portray. The praise ends there. Now, the crash sequences were good, but some of them were overblown and totally unbelievable. The crash in the end where a driver spins and flips over was totally beyond belief, I mean howís a car going to flip over if the wings of the car are still intact? Probably due to ground-effect loss, but I seriously doubt it, and the rest of the crash goes overblown. I felt embarrassed there since I've witnessed something ridiculous, and that would've been better if there was jus an ordinary crash instead of a total mess like that. The crash of Jimmy in Chicago wouldíve been hard enough to break his legs, since Iíve seen similar cases just like it, but the accident was believable, so itíll pass. But Memoís crash was total gay fantasia, since the type of impact that he had wouldíve been enough to kill him instantly. But he came out alive. Bleh, Iíve seen better crashes watching Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner.
The racecars kind of amused me since in many shots the cars would change design, and thanks to that you'll notice the difference between Champ cars and movie stunt cars. That annoyed me. That insulted my intelligence. Bastards.
Then the movie makes a fatal mistake, which most racecar movies unfortunately make. Again, why the fuck would a film show race sequences from an oval track when the actual race is being run on a road course, and vice versa? That always has pissed me off and it pissed me off even more in this movie. In the sequences of Toronto and Detroit, you can see shades of an oval race, plus wide runoff areas, suggesting a road course. Hello, these two are fucking street circuits surrounded by walls and no grass patches whatsoever. The race in Germany was crappy, also showing shades of an oval track when itís supposedly a road course. That was total bullshit. I mean, fuck donít show a sequence in an oval when the events are in a road course. Itís fucking embarrassing and takes the belief and the realism off the movie even more.
Now the back-story: More bullshit. The story has a good idea but the rest of the script needed more development in the characters and the subplots it brings up. The love liaisons in the script were badly mare, since theyíre empty, simplistic, and never progress. Sly, the reason Rocky worked is that the subplots were well developed and polished, and thanks to those, that film worked. Thatís what you needed here, because the subplots in this film donít live up to nothing and leaves you empty handed at the end of the film. Plus some of the characters parts were ridiculous and stupid, hence added more to the stupidity of the subplots. And Tantoís coming to terms with Cathy never lives up and never takes off, and thanks to that, the redemption part doesnít finish up and ends up as if nothing had happened. Ah, those non-bare tits and ass shots of many girls around were also making me sick.
The performances were okay. Sly shows improvement of his past few acting stints, Pardue wouldíve been better. Gina Gershon and Robert Sean Leonard were so fucking annoying that I think they deserved better parts. But Sly, go back and study screenwriting again, work on it, if not, youíre going to trip on the same rocks again, and tripping on the same rocks again would mean that youíre a total idiot.In the end, all I can say is that this film wouldíve been better, a hell of a lot better. If you want to watch it, watch at your own risk, you may like it and you may not. All I can say is that at first I thought it was all right, and then I thought it was average, now I just think it wouldíve been better. I donít know, sometimes after watching crappy racecar movies like this one makes me feel embarrassed as a racecar fan. I just wish there was a great racecar movie. And there is I think, I guess Iíll just go off and see Grand Prix.
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originally posted: 05/05/01 12:49:10