- Movie Rating -

The Cannonball Run (1981)

| June 19, 1981

There is generally no reason for me to like The Cannonball Run.  It is stupid, aimless, juvenile and most of its jokes don’t work, but I must admit a modest affection for it.  Something happens to me during this movie.  My critical pen seems to slip out of my hand and I just find myself enjoying the mayhem that this movie is so hellbent on serving up.

The movie is a kind of lazy road picture, gathering together half the membership of the Screen Actor’s Guild who has ever worked on television or in Vegas including Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jack Elam, Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Adrien Barbeau, Jamie Farr, Bert Convey, Peter Fonda.  The list goes on and on.

There isn’t really a story here, only a hook onto which many car chase gags are hung.  What passes for a story involves a 3000-mile illegal road race across interstate highways from New Jersey to California.  First one to the finish line wins.  That’s it!  That’s all that you need to know.  The actors here are just tasked with finding funny things to do or say, it’s like a loose road version of Hollywood Squares.

I don’t know.  I found it funny.  Something creeped off the screen toward me and made me laugh.  Maybe it was the sight of all those famous stars obviously having a good time.  Maybe it was the energy they brought to it.  Maybe it is something in my sense of humor, or perhaps my love of these great old stars.  They’re having fun, I’m having fun.  You can’t argue with the laughs.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1981) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized