Despite its brief theatrical release, 8 SECONDS, based on the career of the late rodeo star Lane Frost, is essentially mediocre TV-movie fare, designed to showcase the popularity of "Beverly Hills 90210" heartthrob Luke Perry.
Lane Frost (Perry), Tuff Hedeman (Stephen Baldwin), and Cody Lambert (Red Mitchell), are three up-and-coming rodeo bareback riders whose friendship is complicated by amiable rivalry. Lane's natural shyness inhibits him from wooing Kellie Kyle (Cynthia Geary), a young rider whose overprotective
mom, Carolyn (Ronnie Claire Edwards), is a confirmed bullpen stage mother. When he finally asks Kellie out for a dinner date, they hit it off despite his bashfulness; soon he decides to drive to Texas and propose to her.
The romance distracts Lane from his calling and, in a moment of carelessness while riding a bull, he sustains a groin injury. During his recovery period at his parent's Oklahoma farm, he contemplates leaving rodeo competition and devoting himself to Kellie. After their marriage, however, Kellie
convinces him to take up riding again. Lane resumes his steady climb, buying Kellie a trailer with his winnings, and he permits her to spruce up his public image with flashy cowboy duds. After he's pinned underneath a bull in competition and escapes unscathed, he looks like a shoo-in for the world
championship. One challenge remains: satisfying his critical father (James Rebhorn) by riding Red Rock, a notorious bull famous for fatally goring his riders.
But Red Rock throws Lane and he becomes embittered and takes to drink, driving Kellie into the arms of an old flame (Linden Ashby). Lane banishes Kellie from their trailer, but his mom (Carrie Snodgress) convinces him that while "trophies tarnish," it's important to hang on to the things in life
that last. Lane suffers another injury in the Guadaloupe County Fair and afterwards reconciles with Kellie. After riding Red Rock to victory, he buys land in order to build a dream house. But soon after, he is fatally gored in competition and becomes a rodeo legend, the youngest rider ever
nominated to the Rodeo Hall of Fame, with a tearful Kellie accepting the posthumous honor.
Director John Avildsen and composer Bill Conti, both veterans of the ROCKY films, do their best to apply a familiar formula to the rodeo world, but Monte Merrick's lightweight script cops out just when it ought to get darker and more interesting: when the idealized marriage begins to falter, the
dialogue becomes annoyingly predictable. Perry's effortless appeal comes close to saving the day, however, and Stephen Baldwin contributes a strong performance. Beyond these merits, 8 SECONDS is as flat as its prairie setting, although its persuasive rendering of the rodeo milieu (and a strong
soundtrack, featuring Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill with the Carla Bonhoff Band) contributed to box-office success in the southern and southwestern US. The title was changed mid-run to 8 SECONDS TO GLORY in an attempt to cash in on Perry's endorsement of "Faded Glory" jeans. (Violence, profanity,adult situations.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Despite its brief theatrical release, 8 SECONDS, based on the career of the late rodeo star Lane Frost, is essentially mediocre TV-movie fare, designed to showcase the popularity of "Beverly Hills 90210" heartthrob Luke Perry. Lane Frost (Perry), Tuff H… (more)