This movie is basically paying homage to Top Gun. The same team that made that movie a success got together to create another pumped up movie.
Cruise plays Cole Trickle, a very cocky and smooth indy car driver that lost his ride and decided to head to NASCAR with team owner Tim Daland,(Randy Quaid), and be coached by legendary crew chief Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall). During the Daytona 500 Cole and nemesis Rowdy Burns are involved in a nasty wreck that hospitalizes both of them and threaten to end their careers. They become friends but Cole realizes his mortality and must overcome it if he is to ever race effectively again.
This has better romantic chemistry than Top Gun. Due in part to the fact that Cruise and Kidman really were attracted to each other and we know the rest is history. The action scenes are great and filmed superbly. It's also a very loud movie. It received an Oscar nomination for best sound. It's just another mindless action movie to help relieve boredom. 7 out of 10.