The Cannonball Run (1981)

cannonballrun1_1981_poster
The Cannonball Run (1981)
  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Action | Comedy
  • Director: Hal Needham
  • Cast: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett

Storyline:

A wild, illegal, and popular cross-country car race is organized, and the eccentric entrants will do anything to win, including low-down, dirty tricks.

One review

  • Seeing people get away with some of the most ridiculous actions in comedic fashion is always tantalizing. How do they get away with such foolishness? That doesn’t happen in the real world as often as this. If only I (as in the viewer) could be that crazy with no problems. This is exactly what this live-action version of Boomerang’s Wacky Races (1968) is. It’s a movie where rules don’t apply to main characters as well as physics, gags and mindset. The movie just can’t be taken on a literal level; otherwise, the viewer will not enjoy it.

    Joining director Hal Needham in this racecar comedy is veteran actor Burt Reynolds who has also completed several projects in the past with him; so it’s no surprise they are in this project either. Co-starring Reynolds is a slew of other well-known actors, singers and models. Playing Reynolds right hand companion is Dom DeLuise who also has an alter ego whom no one seems to understand of how he shows up and exits. Together they ride in an ambulance as a disguise to help them win the race. Accompanying them is their doctor played by Jack Elam who was cast perfectly because of his unmoving left eye. To name a few more, Farrah Fawcett, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Jackie Chan and even Roger Moore (who pretends he’s Roger Moore) all play funny characters.

    This is the real strong point to this movie; it’s an ensemble cast and if you’re a viewer who likes seeing movies with lots of star power, this is one of them to see. The story however, written by Brock Yates isn’t anything special. The plot is about a bunch of wacky racers doing what they can to win and really that’s all this movie needed. It does give a back-story to Reynolds’ character and DeLuise’s alter ego but it’s nothing to be real interested in. As for the comedy parts of the writing, that is a slight bit stronger than the story itself. However, that also doesn’t mean every joke was funny. There were some places there just were not funny enough when it should have been.

    Each actor has their own thing going for them and it’s because of that, that they all don’t rely on the same thing to make a joke. Again, my favorite was Jack Elam playing the doctor. God he was a laugh! And surprisingly, the score provided by Al Capps did a decent job as well. His tunes may have not been longer than a good 30 seconds, but it did evoke the right feeling of the movie, which was lightheartedness. One thing that did bug me was how politically incorrect and sexist everything was though. I understand that it this time it wasn’t taken seriously and I also understand that this is partially what helps make the film effective in a comedic sense but unfortunately, in today‚Äôs age, it can be offensive to some who are closed minded individuals.

    There isn’t a story to fall back on which can leave some people feeling empty. But if you’re looking for a film with a lot of star power, fast vehicles and various sparks of clever comedy, then this goofy car race just may hit the spot.

    Points Earned –> 7:10

Write your review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *