Cannonball Run II

1984

Cannonball Run II

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

13%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 20,518
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Cannonball Run II Photos

Movie Info

This time the prize is $1 million as a bunch of oddballs illegally cannonball from California to Connecticut in this sequel to the 1981 Cannonball Run--which made a load of cash for the producers. This time, Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise are aided by a legion of celebrities (see cast list!).

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Critic Reviews for Cannonball Run II

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

  • Execution is uninspired, laughs are hard to find, and the script is also difficult to locate.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • There are nun jokes, mafia jokes, big breast jokes, karate jokes, Jaws jokes, more big breasts. It's a long ride.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Cannonball Run II is one of the laziest insults to the intelligence of moviegoers that I can remember. Sheer arrogance made this picture.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 0.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Directed in slam-bang style by Hal Needham, the film is an endless string of cameo performances from a cast whose funny participants are badly outnumbered and whose television roots are unmistakable.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 1.5/5
  • The movie is a genuine cultural artifact, a relic given to us by a band of entertainers from long ago, who live in self-imposed exile in the dusty, neon hellhole of Las Vegas.

    Jul 26, 2014 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • This is an easy, madcap, guilty pleasure that plays like a hyperactive cross between Wacky Races and The Dukes of Hazard.

    Jun 4, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cannonball Run II

  • Feb 09, 2017
    Cannonball Run II is the sequel to the 1981 coast to coast race film from Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds. Did you see that one? Then you've seen this one. It's a cartoonish romp with a collection of Las Vegas royalty and country stars. Yes, this is another on of those Burt Reynolds good ole' boy comedies. Way over the top, Cannonball Run II is almost fun to watch. Almost. It's poorly written and the performances are strictly phoned in. Did Shirley Maclaine really follow up Terms of Endearment with this? Ugh. And Frank Sinatra's cameo? It's legendary in that the Chairman wasn't even there with the cast, yet appears in the blooper reel. Really? We can easily tell with the poor editing that they were not together. A poorly matched mess. Far removed from Crosby and Hope, it's a road picture injected with steroids and over used '80's cliches. You can watch it, but the camp is turned up to eleven and all you get is a need to go on a real road trip. There isn't much left to say about it. It's just a bad movie.
    Chris G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2015
    This movie kicks off much in the same way as the first movie. A white Lamborghini Countach is roaring down a desert highway, the engine throbbing as it tears up the tarmac yet again. It pulls up behind a cop car, teasing it, then blows past it. Next up we see another familiar SPEED LIMIT 55 sign, the Lambo breaks next to it and out jumps Catherine Bach, she obstructs the sign with another so it now reads SPEED LIMIT 155. She jumps back into the Lambo and it screeches off into the distance, cop car in tow. The chase continues until the Lambo pulls into a construction site and gets its white body colour jet washed off to reveal its original red body colour. This intro sequence is nowhere near as ultra cool and thrilling as the original movies intro, how could it be when we've seen that idea already. Nonetheless its still a solid intro that still puts many action flicks to shame. Even the stark bold red credits that once again appear, this time with a typical 80's go-faster stripe underneath, look much better than most modern movies CGI credits. Now I can't sugarcoat the plot here, lets be brutally honest, its exactly the same as the first movie, a shameless rehash. But that rehash does work to a degree because its a new race with new competitors, like a new season of 'Wacky Racers'. This time the Cannonball has been organised by the Sheik (Jamie Farr) from the first movie, who has been ordered by his father to simply win the race, to restore honour to the family name. The main subplot surrounding the main event sees Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. back again but this time they owe a large sum of money to Don Don Canneloni (Charles Nelson Reilly), who is in turn in financial trouble with the mobster Kaplan (Telly Savalas). Together Canneloni's goons (Henry Silva, Alex Rocco, Michael Gazzo and Abe Vigoda) and Kaplan, spent most of the run time trying to stop the Sheik in order to kidnap him for his vast wealth. This is where the movie pretty much turns into a Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner cartoon for the most part. There are sequences that have literately lifted straight out of the WB cartoon as the goonish thugs attempt to snatch the Sheik from the race in various harebrained schemes. They fly a chopper with a large magnet underneath to try and pick up the car whilst in motion, they set up a large tripwire-esque trap across the road to stop the car, they use a big claw-like clamp on the front of a car to try and grab the Sheiks car etc...its all pretty childish and cringeworthy to be honest. As for the race, well back under starters orders this time are of course Reynolds and DeLuise, this time dressed in military garb and driving a limo also decked out in military colours. This time they pick up a pair of dancers dressed as nuns (Shirley MacLaine and Marilu Henner). This sexy duo think the dynamic duo of the Bandit and Captain Chaos could provide them with lots of money (the race winnings). The sheik is of course back in the race driving another Rolls. Along for the ride with him are his servant played by Doug McClure and Doctor Van Helsing from the first movie again played by Jack Elam. As we know his aim is to win the race hands down, Van Helsing is there to look after him as he has an ulcer. Making up Needham's automobile Ocean's 11-esque roster again, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin are this time dressed up as cops driving a Chevrolet Corvette. The rat pack is completed later on in the movie as Frank Sinatra joins the race in his Dodge Daytona Turbo because...well to complete the rat pack clearly. Jackie Chan is also back in what feels like a rehashed role, his character wears virtually the same attire and he's driving another very similar Japanese car, a Mitsubishi Starion. Difference is for comedic purposes his partner is the giant Richard Kiel whose presence also seems to influence more Bond homages. Their car is able to turn into a mini submarine when under the water, plus other predictable gadgets seen before. This being a Needham/Reynolds race flick (or personal inside joke flick), you can't not have some sexy ladies in skimpy attire driving a smokin' hot supercar. As already mentioned this time its Catherine Bach (minus her Daisy Dukes) and Susan Anton. However, not content with having a white/red Lambo at the start (which they abandon in the desert with its doors open!), they also get through a Merc 300 SL Coupe and a yellow Nova Sterling! Expect many tight ass shots...but do enjoy. The worst idea in this flick has to be the use of a hideous orangutan that pretends to drive a Cadillac Fleetwood 75, whilst in the back is Mel Tillis and Tony Danza. Dunno if this is the same orangutan that partnered up with Clint Eastwood, don't think so, but the idea I think has been pinched from that Eastwood franchise. Much like his other Burt Reynolds driven franchise this movie goes exactly the same route, a rehashed sequel. Like the first movie, this was never meant to be a sensible, its a complete parody/spoof/farce of a comedy that serves up yet more larger than life cameos, inside jokes, stereotypes and nods and winks galore. The movie ends with such an outlandish and hokey fight sequence, seriously, every trick in the book and every character is crowbarred into it for no real reason at all. Its like a beat 'em up videogame franchise with every character forced into one game title. Everything is upped to crazy cartoonish levels of mayhem with more in your face stunts and tyre screeching antics, yet there is actually less focus on the vehicle aspect this time I think. Its not as bad as 'Smokey and the Bandit II', its not a complete and utter virtual remake of its predecessor, there is some fun to be had here admittedly. Of course car porn is evident and appreciated by those inclined, the action is hectic and enjoyable at times and I can't deny that the casting is epic. I loved seeing the 'Godfather' mobsters all together, its cool seeing the rat pack together for the last time, and basically the sheer number of all-star cameos and odd matchups is just intriguing to see. Its lazy for sure, but still manages to keep its head above the waves with pure quirkiness.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2010
    These movies were never about the race. They weren't about any semblance of a plot. They were about watching an insanely famous cast of actors getting together to have a good time, and inviting you to watch. There's the required number of stunts and action scenes in both movies, and a healthy dose of flashy cars, but no one remembers these movies for any of that. If there ever really was a completed script for either of these movies, I'd be beyond shocked. You KNOW that most everything that happened in this movie was improvised on the spot. It's the freewheeling spirit that makes these movies so fun to watch to this day. In fact, there's BARELY a race in this movie at all. Some people may criticize that, but I look at it as the filmmakers took note of what people liked about the first movie, and gave them even more of it this time, so that leaves less room for actual racing. There's still a good number of auto stunts and crashes, and a big brawl scene so Jackie Chan can show of his fighting skills. The movie relies on the charm of its stars, and they all have more than enough of that to go around. Burt Reynolds made this the last of his "good ol' boy car chase" movies. Dom DeLuise seems to be having the most fun of the whole cast. Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were effortless pros who obviously loved acting against each other. Jamie Far was obviously relishing playing someone other than Klinger. We also get a mob backstory that is loaded with actors who appeared in The Godfather movies, and they seemed to enjoy spoofing themselves. The weakest "perfromances" come from the women in the cast, who simply seemed to lack the knack for improvisation, which like I said, was key to the fun of these movies. Shirley MacLaine and Marilu Henner just kind of struggle through the movie. Susan Anton and Catherine Bach...well let's just say that they weren't hired for their acting skills. This is what I like to call a "so bad, it's great" movie, adn a nice way to reminice the 80's. Just empty your brain, sit back, and enjoy the fun that was being had while making the movie. Be sure to watch the credits.
    RJ M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2010
    Who won the damn thing? Burts age is really starting to show in the hairline (or lack thereof)
    Sean G Super Reviewer

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