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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
So bad but so good...
on January 11, 2002
Cannonball Run is a guilty pleasure. No one would ever say it's a good movie, but it's a like train wreck, you find yourself staring. Burt Reynolds tries to live his glory days of Smokey and The Bandit, bringing along the same Director, Hal Needham as well as a slew of falling stars to prop him up. Its as if all of them knew their careers were sliding and it was one last ditch effort to make a great noise. Don't get me wrong, many of these people are talented. Lets explain the premise first. The 'Run' is an auto street (or highway) race, based closely on a real race that was run throughout the 70s that went from New York to California. It was highly illegal, and probably a lot a fun. There is even an appearance by one of the original drivers, Brock Yates, who is now an editor for Car & Driver Magazine and makes an amusing appearance as the MC, explaining how the race goes. Reynolds is JJ McClure, a former race car driver and mechanic who is the standing champ in the race. Eager to keep his title, he is desperate to win again. In this race though, that doesn't just mean going fast, anyone can go fast, but sooner or later, you will get stopped. JJ and his strange friend, Victor (Dom Delouse) adopt a personality of two paramedics driving a patient cross country. Apparently this worked in the actual race one year. The supporting cast of competition includes Jamie Farr as an overzealous Sheik in a hopped up Rolls Royce, Roger Moore playing a comic version of his James Bond character driving his popular silver Austin Martin, Mel Tillus and Terry Bradshaw playing a couple of southern boys cruising in a stolen race car and my personal favorite, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. playing womanizing, gambling hard drinking priests driving a red Ferrari (they aren't really priests). All this adds up to a movie where every scene you see a star. Dean and Sammy steal the show in almost every scene they're in, they are class acts adding something unattainable in most pictures of this caliber. The racing antics are not quite as funny as the beginning scenes where all the characters are introduced, but it is entertaining. The best part of the movie comes at the end though where the bloopers are shown during the closing credits. It's worth the price of the DVD alone. Don't expect a great movie out of Cannonball Run, all you can really expect is a good time, but isn't that what it's all about?