The last time Stallone buddied up with action auteur Harlin — for 1993’s ”Cliffhanger” — they rappelled back to base camp with $260 mil worldwide. And since the thriller was also Stallone’s last hit, it makes sense that he’d tap the Finnish director to help steer him back onto the fast track. In fact, it’s why Stallone penned this race car driving saga. ”I’m trying to do something different with my career,” he admits. ”Yeah, this movie has action and adventure, but it’s really a drama underneath, like ‘Rocky.”’
How so? Well, the actor plays a retired driver whose days in the victory circle are over. Then a sage racing team owner (Reynolds) offers him a second chance — not to get behind the wheel, but to help train a cocky young prodigy (”Remember the Titans”’ Pardue). Still, despite all the human drama, Harlin promises it’s the wipeouts that’ll fuel this vehicle. ”The way we’re shooting these crashes is brand new,” he says. ”You’ve never seen it before. The viewer’s going to be right there in the driver’s seat, spinning out of control.” Pass the Dramamine.