Pedal to the Metal: 5 Awesome Racing Films not titled “Fast and Furious”
With the seventh installment being released next year, it’s evident that the “Fast and Furious” franchise has no signs of slowing down. And why should it? With breathtaking racing sequences, irresistibly sexy cars, and monstrous mufflers that go “Roar!”, the first six films has made a total of 2.3 billion dollars worldwide – give or take.
The success and popularity of “Fast and Furious” is undeniable, but it did cast a shadow on equally awesome racing flicks that car enthusiasts would love all the same. Here are five underrated gems that can give Dominic Toretto a run for his money.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
“Talladega Nights” tells the story of Ricky Bobby, a man with two first names and an imagination filled with ambition. Although not the brightest in his class, Ricky Bobby has always had luck on his side since he was a little boy, and it never left him until he became a pit crew for Dennit Racing.
When their racer slacks off for a sandwich, Ricky Bobby gets one shot to race behind the wheel – and one shot is all that Ricky Bobby needs. He aces the race, ultimately giving rise to his high speed career. After winning championships left and right, Ricky Bobby seemed to have it all. With a smoking hot wife in one hand and a champion’s trophy in the other, it seemed as if nothing was ever going to stop this man from achieving the impossible. That is until he comes across his French arch enemy, Jean Girard, who can beat him to 1st place every time while drinking a macchiato.
Can Ricky Bobby reclaim his former glory? Aside from Googling the plot summary, there’s only one way to find out!
Surely, the “Fast and Furious” films are superbly entertaining thanks to its balls-to-the-wall action sequences, but no matter how many more sequels it churns out, it will never be able to equal the immersive cinematic experience of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive”.
Starring Ryan Gosling known only as “Driver,” 2011’s “Drive” will take you on a ride that will change your perspective of racing movies. Here, you will not race on a track nor will you plunge on pretentiously busy streets; rather, you are given a first-hand treatment on what it’s like to be a getaway driver. Experience a different perspective of speed where you are not racing for thrill, but for survival.
Days of Thunder
Ever noticed how Tom Cruise never seems to age? Good for him though, because with the recent sci-fi masterpiece that is “Edge of Tomorrow”, Cruise has proven to us all that he’s still the best action star out there. Now “Days of Thunder” doesn’t rank among his best works, but it does an excellent job in what it’s trying to achieve, which should be more than enough for NASCAR fans all around.
Gone in 60 Seconds
Nicolas Cage is a guy that you just have to love and hate at the same time. No matter how negative the reviews of his movies are, you just know that you still have to see them the moment the trailers are released. Admit: you were entertained by “Drive Angry” and at least amused by “Ghost Rider”.
On the other hand, “Gone in 60 Seconds” is one of Cage’s most iconic films as he plays the role of Randall Raines, a criminal long retired from the business. However, a predicament is set upon him wherein he has no choice but to start doing what he used to do best: stealing cars. Aside from Cage, the film also stars a 1973 Ford Mach I called Eleanor, which is one of the handful of legendary cars immortalized by film.
Awesome racing movies don’t have to be limited flesh-and-blood actors and tangible cars that you can buy on auction one day. Once in a while, the world of anime produces films that transcend the particular genres they try to inhabit. If the war genre has “Grave of the Fireflies”, then racing flicks have “Redline” (2009). As long as you’re able to find a copy that isn’t dubbed in English, then you should have one hell of a blast.
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