Cannonball - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cannonball Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2010
The inferior of David Carradine and Paul Bartel's car racing movies. Unlike 2000, this really doesn't have the fun and originality it should. The premise is really interesting, but that's just all it is. I will defend the stunt work, however, due to the fact that it looks 100% real. If you love David Carradine it's completely worth it, but I've seen a lot better.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2008
Great movie! Hilarious!!
May 27, 2013
"Unofficial" sequel to Death Race 2000. Pretty much a duplicate copy of the film with the same director, stars and plot. Only differences are the characters and not as much action or the over the top violence as its predecessor.
½ April 20, 2007
This movie isn't as funny as Cannonball Run or Death Race 2000, but it was still alright. It had a lot more violence than I was expecting.
October 25, 2006
While not as funny and zany as the Cannonball Run flicks its still a good car racing, crashing film of the 70's with plenty of stars.
May 20, 2005
Now here's a genre that needs to come back. With all the '70s retreads showing up in multiplexes these days, I'm genuinely shocked that nobody's decided to do a remake of any of the great all-star cast race-to-a-destination flicks that began with [i]It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World[/i], peaked with [i]Cannonball Run[/i] and crashed into a flaming, multi-car death of fire with [i]Speed Zone[/i] and [i]Million Dollar Mystery[/i]. Oh, sure, there's [i]Rat Race[/i], which ended up being better than it deserved to be, but it was too [i]Mad World[/i] and not enough [i]Cannonball[/i], as the jokes outweighed the action by a 20:1 margin. And they weren't even good jokes.

Except Jon Lovitz's character accidentally ending up dressed as Hitler at a WWII veteran's rally. That was funny. Oh, and Rowan Atkinson.

[i]Cannonball [/i]is a 1976 Corman-produced entry, co-written and directed by Paul Bartel as a follow-up to his hit [i]Death Race 2000[/i]. (Curiously, Bartel's co-writer was future [i]Top Gun[/i] producer Don Simpson--this was his first movie with explosions.) It's very similar in format to the earlier film, sharing some of the cast and plot, but eschewing the futuristic game show approach for a simple Trans-America road race based on the (real) Cannonball Run. Bartel infuses the film with a good deal of the humor he gave [i]Death Race[/i], and even if [i]Cannonball [/i]lacks the gallows sensibility that gave the earlier film its' edge, it's still a fun time-passer.

The title character is the hero, a determined parolee played by David Carradine, joined by his parole officer (Veronica Hamel). Cannonball's pal Zippo (Archie Hahn) emulates him to the point of wearing the same outfit, and racing in the same car. Cannonball's rival Redman (Bill McKinney) is also along for the ride, commissioned to drive a car by his two passengers, a cloying country singer (Gerrit Graham) and his even more cloying mother (Sharma Capri, in a Ruth Gordon role). There's also a van of foxy ladies (Mary Woronov, Diane Lee Hart and Glynn Rubin), a German weirdo (James Keach) who talks about how tragic it is that they lost the war, a nice young couple (Robert Carradine and Belinda Balaski), a lone black guy (Stanley Clay) and a cheater who takes the plane (Carl Gottlieb).

Okay, so it's not exactly an all-star cast unless you're really into B-movies of the '70s, but I am, so it counts. Bartel even got some of his director friends to show up in bit parts, including Martin Scorcese, Allan Arkush, Jonathan Kaplan, Joe Dante and Corman himself, and in a surreal moment, Bartel (who appears as a mobster), Scorcese and Sylvester Stallone sit around eating Kentucky Fried Chicken. Corman film regular Dick Miller shows up as Cannonball's older brother as well, it's a great fun to watch the entire cast, even when the movie becomes a little bit tired.

It's not that [i]Cannonball [/i]is bad, exactly--it's got plenty of clever moments and some snicker-worthy dialogue (Redman is described as being "so cold he has to jerk off in the morning just to start his heart") coupled with car chases and a climactic multi-car collision that's entertaining, even if it's never really convincing that any of the actors were anywhere near the accident itself. It just never really engages as a movie of it's own. It's filled with in-jokes, similar to (the excellent) Hollywood Boulevard, and it's fun, but the action is never really revved up or unique enough to be worth a look on it's own, and that's the point of an action film, isn't it?

Sure, there's a crash here and a police car blowing up there (this is actually pretty good), but it's not the gleefully sadistic drive-in trash that [i]Death Race 2000[/i] is, so much of the film is spent seemingly (sorry about this) stalled in second gear. The multiple plotlines swerve all over the place, but most of the characters never get a chance to interact with each other, and it may just be my "Amazing Race" addiction that's gotten me spoiled, but the climactic race-to-the-finish line seems really lame and poorly put together.

That said, there's a lot to like about [i]Cannonball.[/i] Everyone clearly had a decent time making it, the music is good, except for the Gerrit Graham songs, which are supposed to be bad (for more intentionally bad Graham singing, check out [i]Phantom of the Paradise[/i], also with Archie Hahn), it's never less than fairly entertaining and, well, stuff blows up. Maybe Corman's desire to get a PG rating for this (which he got) sedated things a little, as there's minimal violence outside the explosions and no nudity, which seems especially odd during the sequence where two girls in the van seduce a couple of cops.

[size=1](For the record, the folks who worked on both this and [i]Death Race[/i] are Paul Bartel (director, actor), Roger Corman (producer), Tak Fujimoto (D.P.), Carradine, Woronov and cameos by Stallone, Luisa Mortiz and Paul Bartel's sister Wendy.)[/size]
May 16, 2016
Cannonball! is the low-budget 70s entertainment that fueled the inspiration of Quentin Tarantino. Sadly, this type of film just feels cheap and uninspiring to me. Weird characters, mediocre acting, and just destruction to be destructive. Not my cup of adrenaline.
May 3, 2016
If you like low budget 70's style car movies Cannonball is for you.
a low budget movie which tries. The real star is the classic cars. A few name actors, and a Stallone cameo! The cheesier humor makes this b minus film. The over pass stunt is a must see. 2 stars.
½ December 21, 2014
Un an après Death Race 2000, Paul Bartel et David Carradine remettent le couvert avec un nouveau film de destruction automobile, Cannonball. Cependant, comparé à son aîné, le film se veut beaucoup plus grand public. Malheureusement, tout l'humour ajouté y est beaucoup moins efficace que le cynisme de Death Race 2000 et le trop plein d'acteur finit par fatiguer, surtout avec le charisme d'huître de David Carradine. Cannonball manque de rythme, d'intérêt et de fun (et ce, malgré une scène avec Paul Bartel himself, Martin Scorsese et Sylvester Stallone en mafieux).
August 17, 2014
Looks really bad by the trailer lol ill pass!!!
September 22, 2013
A group of people take place in the Los-Angeles-to-New York Trans American Grand Prix and it's completely illegal at speeds up to 280 kilometres an hour!

There are no judges, no loyalties and no rules. First Prize in this race where anything goes is $100 000 and the coveted title of "King Of The Road Racers"

stars David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Belinda Balaski, Judy Canova, Carl Gottlieb and Archie Hahn III.

directed by Paul Bartel.
May 27, 2013
"Unofficial" sequel to Death Race 2000. Pretty much a duplicate copy of the film with the same director, stars and plot. Only differences are the characters and not as much action or the over the top violence as its predecessor.
December 7, 2012
Worth finding and watching!
October 27, 2012
Outlaw car race from LA to New York sees drivers vying for $100k. A few racers die along the way and presumably several city drivers too in a massive fiery freeway pileup but no remorse shown. Sly Stallone has an uncredited role eating KFC.
August 23, 2011
Fantastic movie. I watched it about 15 years ago, and it's still a great piece.
½ December 15, 2010
Destruction Galore !! Lol a funny movie all throught....
September 29, 2010
Loved it, great cast.
September 22, 2010
Outlaw car race from LA to New York sees drivers vying for $100k. A few racers die along the way and presumably several city drivers too in a massive fiery freeway pileup but no remorse shown. Sly Stallone has an uncredited role eating KFC.
May 9, 2010
Komplett ræva, men kul, film
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