It’s been a long time since I first (and last) watched Cannonball Run – 30 years actually… Boy does that make me feel old.
Cannonball Run hit theatres back in 1981 and despite being super cheezy, manages to be a really funny movie. The movie takes it’s name from the Cannonball Run, a cross country (U.S.A.), big money race that draws cars from all over. Along the long race the teams actively attempt to sabotage each other.Staring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise co-star as racer J.J. McClure and his buddy, mechanic Victor Prinzi who pose as paramedics and drive an Ambulance. Roger Moore plays Seymour Goldfarb, Jr. who poses as no one other than… Roger Moore /James Bond. Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. play aging former race car driver Jamie Blake and scam artist Morris Fenderbaum who disguise themselves as priests and drive a red Ferrari. Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman play as Marcie Thatcher and Jill Rivers – the “hot chicks” that use their womanly charms to wriggle out of legal troubles along the way. Jamie Farr (you know: Klinger from M.A.S.H.) appears as Sheik Abdul ben Falafel Jackie Chan goes mostly uncredited as “Mitsubishi Driver #1.” So, yeah, it’s a pretty eclectic and silly cast and it still fun to watch. It’s not a movie to watch if you want depth – this is a silly race movie with a silly cast and silly situations.
Have some fun and give Cannonball Run a watch. Check out the trailer here:
I have a confession to make: when this movie came out, I snuck into it with my buddy Craig by climbing under the fence of the local drive in. We were nine years old and his parents thought we were hanging out in the basement watching TV… good time.
That aside, I have always thought that this was a fun movie about a cool, ageing stuntman, Sonny Hooper (played by Burt Reynolds), on the set of a blockbuster movie. The movie is about his coming to grips with ageing and competition from younger, up and coming stuntmen, his relationship with Gwen (played by Sally Fields) and being potentially paralysed by doing and incredible jump over a gorge in a rocket car as well as dealing with a prick of a director, played by Robert Klein.
Look, Burt Reynolds is cool and this is a cool movie. Many movies that I liked as a kid seem crappy when I watch them now, but this is not one of them. I find the characters fun and compelling and generally a fun movie with the right amount of action to dialogue. The supporting cast is just strong enough with actors like Brian Keith, Jan-Michael Vincent and James Best (Rosco from The Dukes of Hazzard).
I would say that if you’re looking for a fun, action paced movie then go for it – Hooper is a fun romp.
Here is the trailer: