Thunder Road 2018 Movie

Thunder Road 2018

Thunder Road 1958 Movie

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Thunder Road 2018 Full Movie Trailer

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Reviewed by RMurray847  7 / 10

Really, really strange, different and exhilarating.

THUNDER ROAD begins at a funeral. Actor/director/writer Jim Cummings plays Officer Jim, a cop who comes to the front of the church to eulogize his mother. This scene is one of the most amazing and unexpected scenes I’ve ever watched. In a few minutes, Officer Jim veers wildy from moments of light humor while recollecting his mom, to unstoppable tears, to deeply inappropriate dancing to, frankly, a total, emotional breakdown unlike any you’ve seen. This guy just loses his cool, but in a way that feels unique and organic. He’s all over the place, and we laugh and then we’re just appalled for him. It feels real and specific and is very moving and yet uncomfortably laughable at the same time. I’ve not seen anything quite like it. (Apparently, this scene was originally a short film Cummings made and used to scrounge up enough funding to stretch this character’s experiences into a feature film.)The scene is probably the best thing in the movie, as we move out of the church and spend more time with Jim and, in particular, his young daughter. The girl’s mother is a mess…Jim cares for her and is deeply angry at her at the same time. In fact, Jim is subject to fits of rage. He is clearly carrying around a lot of grief and confusion, and he doesn’t really have an outlet or anyone to “talk to” about it. He’s a proud man who doesn’t want to admit he’s hurting. His temper is sometimes comical and sometimes terrifying. He is, in short, a mess. But you’ve never seen a character quite like this or a mess quite like it either. Cummings, who is not necessarily the most gifted actor ever, has a quality about him that I’ve not really seen in another “star.” We can laugh with him and at him, and be infuriated by him yet root for him deeply. His brand of “messed-up-ness” is singular and we feel like we’re seeing a real person break down.

But, despite the mess that Jim has become, the result of the movie (and it’s string of odd incidents) is a feeling of hope and uplift. Life is never going to be perfect, far from it…but perhaps Jim learns to appreciate the little joys and victories it brings. We suspect he’ll always be a bit of a mess, but we also see that he might be pulling his act together at least a little.

The film will be off-putting to some. It’s low budget, and that often shows. It swings wildly in tone, often within scenes. It’s tough to describe the emotional impact (is it a comedy with some drama, or a drama with some comedy, or is it even a drama that doesn’t realize how silly much of it is?). Cummings has made one other film (THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW) that also plays around with similar themes of anger and inchoate reaching for manly self-improvement. If you can manage it, I’d suggest a mini-film festival, with THUNDER ROAD first and then SNOW HOLLOW. While the film(s) are far from perfect, the best thing I can say is that I still can’t wait to see what Cummings comes up with next. Unique!

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