Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA/Canada/Australia, 2001. Franchise Pictures, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Trackform Film Productions, Champs Productions, Mel’s Cite du Cinema. Story by Jan Skrentny, Neal Tabachnik, Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone. Cinematography by Mauro Fiore. Produced by Renny Harlin, Elie Samaha, Sylvester Stallone. Music by BT. Production Design by Charles Wood. Costume Design by Mary E. McLeod. Film Editing by Steve Gilson, Stuart Levy.
Rollicking good fun that finds Sylvester Stallone back on top of the action game in this drama about the carnivalesque world of race car driving. Sly also wrote the screenplay for this latest Renny Harlin flick, and as usual his running theme is that of humanity overcoming the need for competitive gain; although his dialogue needs (and I mean needs) a lot of help, the relationships between characters in the film are much stronger than you would expect. Stallone plays an over-the-hill race car driver who quit years ago when it just got too tough, who finds himself back in the game when he’s asked to mentor the new boy in town (Kip Pardue). Pardue has his own troubles, mostly those of trying to beat his racing nemesis (Til Schweiger) and maybe steal the guy’s girlfriend (Olympic-medalist swimmer Estella Warren). The film really comes alive when Gina Gershon is on screen, while Harlin’s directorial style steals greatly from the likes of Oliver Stone (particularly his work on Any Given Sunday).