One must give credit to Jim Cummings for the tremendous effort put in Thunder Road, a comedy-drama based on his 2016 short film of the same name. Cummings not only wrote and directed the film but also starred as a grieving decorated cop who faces a meltdown after his mother’s death.
Officer Jim Arnaud (Cummings) embarks on a long and painful monologue at his mother’s funeral, slightly transpiring the turmoil that his soul is enduring. He almost laughs and cries at the same time, performing a hilarious theatrical number in front of the attendees, who remain quiet and shocked.
“…loses custody of his daughter due to the highly unorthodox behavior at the funeral…”
Jim should be off duty on the following week. However, and despite visibly disturbed, he presents himself at work, patrolling the streets in the good company of his colleague and best friend Nate (Nican Robinson). Known for his extreme dedication and over-zealous posture at work, Jim is suddenly having trouble concentrating and act efficiently. This fact is insignificant when compared with his messy life at home. His wife, Rosalind (Jocelyn DeBoer), is divorcing him, while his young daughter Krystal (Kendal Farr) acts bored and cold whenever she’s around. Still, he does everything to please her, even if he has to stay awake the whole night to learn the games she likes to play. Acting super-protective, we get to know he reached an uncontrolled emotional peak as he physically threatens Krystal’s teacher.
The last straw comes when he loses custody of his daughter due to the highly unorthodox behavior at the funeral, which became viral on the Internet. His humiliation continues when he is fired in the sequence of a fight with his partner, whom he partly responsibilizes for the situation.
“…depicts anxious times by carrying a furious tone and bitter pathos.”
More and more isolated, Jim seemed condemned to perish alone within his personal chaos if an unexpected accident wouldn’t have reconnected him with Krystal. As a consequence of that, he promises to be the best dad ever. Will he be able to succeed?
Pelted with tragicomic scenes, Thunder Road, an acceptably funny slice of drama, depicts anxious times by carrying a furious tone and bitter pathos. However, not everything shines here. Regardless of his capable acting skills, Cummings never impressed me deeply to the point of making me feel sorry for him. I would have become more sympathetic to his disgrace if not slightly irritated with his periodic moaning. Not good; not bad either; just fair.
Thunder Road (2018)Directed by Jim Cummings. Written by Jim Cummings. Starring Jim Cummings, Nican Robinson, Jocelyn DeBoer, Kendal Farr.
6 out of 10 stars