He has to give a heartfelt eulogy at her funeral, and the title of the film comes from the Bruce Springsteen song which he wants to play at the end of said eulogy, because it holds special relevance for him when growing up. Nothing ever quite goes to plan, leading to a scene which is quite brilliant and has to be seen to be believed, in how he deals with his grief.
Jim has to take time off work following her death and, to add insult to injury, he’s also about to get divorced – and a colleague asks him what he wants to do, and Jim replies: “Drag her behind my truck with an extension cord… I don’t mean that.”
He also thinks he’s losing touch with his daughter, and wants to get joint custody following this divorce.
Beyond that, Thunder Road, does rather slow down a little too much at times, but when it does, it comes back with some very punchy scenes; and I like that there’s a number of one-take scenes, including a phenomenal one involving a game of ‘hands up’. I’d love to know how many takes that took to get right. Meanwhile, most of the rest see Jim very intense and angry.
In fact, Jim Cummings is at his best when he’s knee-deep in the most dramatic drama scenes, really excelling in those, and we need to see more of him doing this. There’s also good support from Kendal Farr as his young daughter, Crystal. And I won’t give spoilers, but it’d be great to get a ‘Thunder Road 2‘ to see how the story continues.
Also worth a watch is Macon Blair as Crystal’s teacher, Dustin. He’s only in one scene, but he was such a powerhouse in the incredible Blue Ruin, so definitely check that out after watching this movie.
There’s just one thing I really dislike: this film was meant to have a DVD release. It really deserves a Blu-ray release, but… it’s digital-only! WTF?!
This film was made for a budget of just $191,000, and since it has already made its money back, I hope it continues to do so many times over.
Thunder Road is out now on Amazon Video.
Running time: 91 minutes
Release date: September 20th 2019
Studio: Vertigo Releasing
Director: Jim Cummings
Producers: Natalie Metzger, Zack Parker, Benjamin Wiessner
Screenplay: Jim Cummings
Officer Jim Arnaud: Jim Cummings
Crystal Arnaud: Kendal Farr
Officer Nate Lewis: Nican Robinson
Rosalind Arnaud: Jocelyn DeBoer
Morgan Arnaud: Chelsea Edmundson
Dustin Zahn: Macon Blair
Celia Lewis: Ammie Leonards
The Captain: Bill Wise
Officer Doug: Jordan Ray Fox
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.