Directed by Jim Cummings
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 has a meltdown after his mother’s death.
Officer Jim Arnaud (Cummings) embarks on a long monologue at his mother’s funeral without completely transpiring the turmoil that his soul is enduring at that painful moment. He almost laughs and cries at the same time, performing a hilarious theatrical number in front of the attendees who remain seated, quiet, and shocked.
Jim should be off the following week. However, and despite visibly disturbed, he presents himself at work, patrolling the streets in the good company of his partner and best friend Nate (Nican Robinson). Known for his over-zealous posture at work and extreme dedication, he starts having trouble concentrating to act efficiently in the most diverse situations. But this is insignificant when compared with his messy life. His wife, Rosalind (Jocelyn DeBoer), is divorcing him, while his young daughter Krystal (Kendal Farr) acts bored and cold whenever she’s with him. He does everything to please her, even if he has to stay awake the whole night to learn the [adj] games she likes. Acting super-protective, we get to know he reached an uncontrolled emotional peak when he physically threatens Krystal’s teacher as he informs him about her bad behavior at school.
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 after a fight with his partner, who, according to him, should have seized the cell phone of the kid who shot the video.
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. In a delicate state, will he be able to succeed?
Pelted with tragicomic scenes, “Thunder Road”, an acceptably funny slice of comic 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 touched me deeply, putting me out with his constant and invariable whining. I would have become more sympathetic to his disgrace if not slightly irritated with this periodic factor. Not good, not bad, just fair.