Big and Little Enos are opening a sea food restaurant. They bet Sheriff Buford T. Justice that he cannot drive from Miami to the Enos ranch in Texas in a given amount of time. If Buford loses he has to give up his badge.
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Car chase mayhem which provides a few laughs and lots of mindless stunts and crashes.
It's hard to believe it, but when this film was released back in 1981 Burt Reynolds was the world's no.1 box office movie star. In this totally mindless chase comedy, Reynolds is supported by a cast of high profile actors in extended guest roles, all of whom play entrants in a wacky coast-to-coast (illegal) car race. The film has little plot to speak of, just a series of stunts, crashes and broad comedy moments. Much of the time it misses its targets, but from time to time there are genuinely funny vignettes and laugh-out-loud one-liners. No-one could ever seriously place this film on their list of all-time classics, but it's not as bad as critics like Maltin have claimed.
Mechanic J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds) and his schizophrenic buddy Victor (Dom Deluise - who occasionally loses it and transforms into his deluded alter-ego Captain Chaos) enter a car race from New Jersey to California. Fellow entrants include a suave Englishman who thinks he's James Bond (Roger Moore); two con-men disguised as priests (Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr); a womanising sheik (Jamie Farr); a Subaru-driving Japanese stunt-man (Jackie Chan); and a couple of busty bimbos in a Lamborghini (Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman).
Scenes that work (e.g scenes that ARE funny) include J.J and Victor landing an aeroplane in a busy street to purchase more beer; the Japanese racers almost crashing because their driver is busy watching porn movies on the in-built TV; the Lamborghini babes repeatedly dodging speeding charges by flashing their (considerable) cleavage at the prosecuting cops; and any of the hilarious out-takes shown over the closing credits. Jack Elam also has some amusing scenes as a very unreliable doctor with a penchant for injecting anaesthetics into people's asses! In other parts, the film is less successful, with rather a lot of lazy performances and scenes that don't tickle the funny bone because they are too immature or just too stupid. The Cannonball Run is loud, broad fun, very easy to watch and even easier to forget!
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