The Cannonball Run Reviews
I know that this movie is really old and that everyone has seen it before, so I won't type a long review about the film. This has to have the best, genuine, outtakes that I have seen, and every time that I watch them, they crack me up. The movie itself looks really dated and some of the jokes are pretty awful but the chemistry between Reynolds and DeLuise is brilliant and you can see that J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds) wants to burst out laughing most of the time. Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, also were funny throughout the film but the race itself was completely over the top and unrealistic. Personally, I still enjoyed the movie, and it was good to see Burt Reynolds when he was on top form and I really can't see anyone topping Reynolds and DeLuise, if they remake this all time classic. Enjoyable!
The opening credits of this film, reminded me of the old Kung Fu movies, with the big Golden Harvest and Fortune Star logos, and judging by the big scale and the huge cast in the film, they really done a good job. It seemed like the director just let the actors ad-lib through most of the film, which is what made it original and really funny in parts. Anyway, the movie was directed by Hal Needham, whose first project was Smokey and the Bandit in 1977, so it's not surprising that he teamed up with Burt Reynolds again. He also directed Hooper, which also starred Burt Reynolds, Cactus Jack with a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, another Smokey and the Bandit, Stroker Ace, Cannonball Run II, Rad and Bodyslam. He's obviously a master at the old comedy movies especially when working with Reynolds but he decided to turn to TV in the latter part of his career with the series Bandit. This is definitely one of those films that you can watch time and time again, even though some of the jokes are more silly than funny but it's worth having in your collection.
Worldwide Gross: $72million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their sport/action/comedies starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Chan, Peter Fonda and Adrienne Barbeau. 5/10
Based entirely on an actual unofficial, unsanctioned street race during the 70's, this movie is just that, a long street race from one side of the country to the other. There really is nothing more to this movie than that, a long running chase sequence filled with stunts, crashes and lots of inside jokes. The various characters are always trying to screw each other over, desperately trying to gain the advantage both time and distance wise, whilst avoiding smokey (highway patrols).
The collection of racers are basically a bunch of misfits and eccentrics all driving the vehicle of their choice. The characters and the cast that play them are the carrot on the stick for the movie, its a big ensemble of cult and classic stars of the time. Next to that its all about the vehicles, the plot...what plot? Of course this being a Hal Needham car flick he utilises his two main stars from his previous fast car flick (amongst others).
There isn't any particular protagonist in this movie but the duo of Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise tend to be the pack leaders obviously. They both drive a souped-up ambulance with Jack Elam on-board as the good doctor Nikolas Van Helsing (could of used a bit more imagination with that name). The sporadic moments of DeLuise as Captain Chaos are easily a guilty pleasure, even though you know its infantile nonsense.
The legendary pairing of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. as a dunken, gambling obsessed duo dressed up as Catholic priests in a red Ferrari, was (and is) pretty fresh. These two serve up much of the comedy as they bumble their way across the country, a surprisingly solid little Laurel and Hardy act.
Tara Buckman and John Carpenter movie regular Adrienne Barbeau are the sexy catsuit wearing Lambo drivers. The stereotypical bimbos in a fast car that use their assets to get out of trouble.
This was Jackie Chan's second western movie, playing a sort of nerdy high-tec wizard who could of course kick ass. Chan and his partner Michael Hui race in a Subaru GL 4WD that has been kitted out with all sorts of computer gadgetry including radar, a rocket boosted engine, infrared sensors etc...Clearly playing on the old stereotype that people from Orient (China and Japan) are geeky techno geniuses with in depth martial arts knowledge...kinda true though.
Did I mention Hal Needham is the director here? Well if the 'Smokey and the Bandit' in-jokes , the casting of Reynolds and DeLuise and the fact this movie is kinda the same as said movie, didn't tip you off, then surely the inclusion of some good ol' redneck boys will. Can't not have some Confederate flag waving southern boys racing, a staple ingredient of Needham car flicks...along with Reynolds.
In one of the more amusing and intriguing character roles is Roger Moore...playing himself...kinda. Moore actually plays a character called Seymour Goldfarb Jr. yet this character goes by the name Roger Moore in the film. So...this character, played by Roger Moore, thinks he is the real Roger Moore, when he isn't. Not only that but this confused character drives a silver Aston Martin DB5 which is laden with all the expected gadgets and tricks. Whenever he is on screen a familiar little soundtrack plays, he does refer to his past playing a certain famous character, and he's always got a different beautiful woman in his car in every scene.
Lastly we have the Sheikh (Jamie Farr) in his white Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, accompanied by his sister (Bianca Jagger), who can buy his way out of anything. The only character to pop up in all three movies of this franchise and another ropy stereotype.
The whole point to this movie (like most of Needham's movies) is to focus solely on the cars and occasionally the characters that drive them. You know exactly what to expect from the get-go as we've seen it all before in his other Burt Reynolds fast car franchise. Lots of smoking tyre spinning, off-road tomfoolery, skids, doughnuts, helpless/useless police units and massive amounts of automobile carnage. At times these sequences get interspersed with some character and plot development, but not much of it ever builds up to anything important and half the time it gets interrupted by some hideous incident involving a big stunt.
In all honesty the movie can't live up to those first five electric minutes with the Lambo chase. That sequence is so unbelievably slick n sexy. The black Lambo screeches up to that 'SPEED LIMIT 55' sign, out jumps a slim sexy 80's blonde, graffitis it, jumps back in and zooms away. This short intro is epic in every sense, it gets your pulse racing, its exciting, thrilling and makes you wanna drive dangerously immediately, eat your heart out 'The Fast and Furious'. Not only that but the movies trailer is kickass too! the movie looks and sounds awesome, its just a shame this isn't an accurate representation of the whole flick.
Alas it all feels like a big fun vacation for the Hollywood elite. Its like they made a movie for themselves stuffed with inside jokes, nods, winks and cameos galore! getting all their buddies on-board. Its overloaded with dated stereotypes, visuals and even the odd controversial comment. Still there is some cracking car porn here for fans and some stunts are impressive no doubt. A cult movie in a cult genre, unless you're into it you may not like it.