And “entertaining” is a good word to describe Thunder, because “good” or “quality” are not appropriate here. It’s a cheesy, race car movie that focuses on the coolness of Tom Cruise and gives audiences enough action scenes to keep their attention. It’s vintage Tony Scott with its stylized filming and editing, which adds to the fun.
The dialogue is a little rough and we’re asked to buy into the drama a little too early on. I never cared about Rowdy’s concussion because I didn’t really like him as a character. Then Cole becomes his best friend and that whole relationship was a little forced. I realized it was supposed to take the place of the Goose-Maverick relationship, but Goose was cool and his fate came as a serious shock to people when they first saw it. Not so much with Rowdy.
Thunder is still fun enough to find an audience nowadays. In fact, as the popularity of racing continuing to rise, it should probably find an even bigger audience, which is why it’s so confusing that Paramount hasn’t given the film any special edition treatment. It’s not a bad film and if you bypass some cheesy moments and rough dialogue, you should have a fun time watching it.