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|Index||21 reviews in total|
Granted this is a loser of a flick, but it's not that bad! If you like the first 2 Cannonball Run films, you should like this one. Fans of Smokey and the Bandit 3 will understand this movie: A desperate attempt at earning laughs(and dollars) from a tired, and over-used idea. Smokey 3 is somewhat better than this, as well as Gumball Rally. I recommend both. Anyway, Speed Zone has good action stunts and John Candy. Give it a chance. Hey, it's not that bad!
I've seen this movie for the first time when I was a kid. I loved it then, and I love it even today. Strictly speaking as a movie, this one isn't very good. But if you like nice exotic cars, than this is one movie you really must see. It's supposed to be a continuation of the Cannonball Run movies with Burt Reynolds, but it has a very different style. In the first 2 movies you also get very weird cars such as an ambulance, but in this movie you only see exotic sports cars (Jaguar, Lamborghini, BMW, Ferrari, ...). Try it, and judge for yourself...
In this intended "Cannonball Run 3," amateurs replace professional drivers at the last minute before an illegal cross-country race. The real amateurs, however, were behind the camera. Jim Drake (who did some fine TV work) lazily directs this film based on an unfunny Michael Short (Martin's brother) script, complete with an obnoxious music soundtrack and bland stunt work. Even the cameos look unenthusiastic. And we don't even know who's leading the competition until the very end, a cardinal sin in racing movies. The main cast is quite talented (no fewer than 3 SCTV alums) but it looks like everyone flew in for their two weeks of filming and went home; there's simply no inspiration between the actors. During the closing credits we see John Candy, Donna Dixon and company riding around in amusement park bumper cars -- Lord, do they look utterly embarrassed. I wasn't demanding Shakespeare, but a competently-made, well-acted comedy (along the lines of Splash or Animal House) shouldn't have been out of the question, either.
I know people have debated this but this movie IS part of the Cannon Ball Run series. Its only tie however is a brief appearance by Jamie Far as The Shiek within the first few minutes of the movie. After that the movie severs most of its ties with the first two save for the race. Here a new crop of Cannon Ballers run the race while being pursued by Spiro T. Edsel a sheriff in the mold of Bufford T. Justice (a character played by the late Jackie Gleason on the Smokey and the Bandit series). Now believe it or not this is actually a decent movie when viewed outside of the Cannon Ball Run series. However when lined up with the first two Cannon Ball Run movies this just seems like a blatant rip off of them and to a lesser extent Smokey and the Bandit.
This movie needs to be seen for the very funny bit on the airplane between a French passenger sitting next to Tom Smothers. He is Jean Pierre Bergeron. I laughed out loud, and I don't normally do that. I liked the movie, and all the other comedy players are also good. It's not as painful to watch as the reviewers state, who must not have gotten that joke. It's on You Tube if you'd like to catch it, or just read the quotes between the two. It's much funnier if you see the movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Much like the previous two movies this one opens with yet another red
Lamborghini Countache, but this time its tearing down a small winding
wooded country road, a change from the open desert. Naturally right
behind this Italian supercar the cops are in hot pursuit. In the
meantime Lee Van Cleef, in a very small cameo, plays an elderly
grandfather teaching his grandson how to skip stones across a small
lake. Van Cleef tells the young boy how to throw the stone at just the
right angle so it can skip across the water.
All of a sudden the red Lambo comes roaring up to the waterline and flies across the obviously shallow lake, skipping just like a flat stone...kinda, it then takes off once it hits dry land. The young boy looks at his grandfather and asks him about the angle he should throw the stone, Van Cleef looks at the car in disbelief and...annoyance I guess. The whole setup is cheesy as hell and doesn't really work to be honest, its not funny at all and Van Cleef is wasted totally, shame. The intro is good, its always good to see an 80's Lambo tearing it up, but it doesn't hold a candle to the first two movie intros.
I think you can guess what the plot is here, its another race, from east (Washington D.C.) to west (Santa Monica) and the winners this time stand to receive 1 million Dollars. Unfortunately the D.C. chief of police (Peter Boyle) manages to arrest all of the drivers prior to game time so a whole bunch of new drivers must be found. One by one each sponsor clambers to find a new driver any way they can, no matter who they are.
In the starting grid this time we have Charlie (John Candy), who has been tricked and bullied into driving for his so called best friend from school Gus (Eugene Levy). Charlie is a parking valet and brilliant driver, hence Gus wanting him for the race. Along for the ride is Tiffany, Gus's love interest, for some reason, mainly because she is eye candy. They use a BMW.
Matt Frewer plays Englishman Alec who is in debt to loan sharks. They send a hit-man to whack him (Joe Flaherty), but Alec persuades Vic to ride in the race with him in order to pay back the money he owes. Vic may have other ideas though. They drive a Jag XJS.
The two sexy ladies for this movie aren't quite as sexy as the previous two but hey, you gotta have the sexy ladies in a sexy car, its obligatory. Here they manage to persuade a Ferrari owner to use his Spyder. The duo are MIT grads and electronics/gadgets experts, so they use their brains and electronic gizmos to assist them in gaining the upper hand. This is the easy bit of tame progression for the movie (and 80's), having the sexy females actually going against the norm and being intelligent and skillful characters instead of just skimpily dressed sluts.
Tim Matheson is a TV reporter who gets caught up in the race in his van, so he decides to race. The driver of the red Lambo from the intro sequence (John Schneider of 'The Dukes of Hazzard') gets arrested with all the other original drivers, its left in the hands of an Italian porter. An ice cool dude called Flash steps up outta nowhere and takes control to drive it, he's an ex-cop and wants the money for his own unknown reasons. Flash is a super cool, shades wearing driver, where as the Italian is a trembling nervous wreck.
Lastly Nelson and Randolph Sloane are two millionaires who spend their whole time trying to cheat their way to the finish, mainly by catching a plane to the finish line. They drive a Bentley Corniche. Jamie Farr makes a cameo as the Sheik from the first two movies but he doesn't race.
As you can imagine much of the run time is taken up with the predictable scenarios of the various characters getting into all sorts of close calls. There are some nice moments of car porn but nowhere near as much as the previous two movies, this time an emphasis has been put on making the few set pieces bigger. Hence the race from downtown Washington D.C. which is a highlight admittedly, the race into Santa Monica, and the use of a large aircraft. In between all that there are various small cameos of course and the usual tomfoolery and slapstick routines. One such sequence sees Candy pretty much redoing (homaging?) a famous scene from his classic movie 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'. Another sees a learner driver being taught by a racist instructor who bullies the learner into overtaking any foreign car, whilst he verbally abuses the driver as they pass. Definitely another highlight as its actually very amusing to see this guys reaction to a Volvo and Alfa Romeo.
All things considering there aren't many, if any, car wrecks in this movie, it seems they were too scared to possibly damage anything, or maybe the budget wasn't high enough. The movie takes an age to get going and an age to actually finish and once the race is done it carries on with boring fluff. Its not a particularly funny film, or exciting film, alas we've kinda seen it all before now and this feels very much like beating a dead horse. Nonetheless it is fun at times, the cars are great as always (as long as you like cars) and the range of character actors on display is reasonable.
The second Cannonball Run did not try to be very different from the first movie. In fact, it was virtually the same movie, this one however seems to totally disassociate itself from either of those movies. The only reason I figured out that this was a sequel to those movies is the Jamie Farr character who makes a very brief appearance in this movie. Other than that the movie is almost completely different. This one was not all that good, but I thought it was a bit better than the second movie anyway even though this movie was full of b stars galore, with only John Candy being the only real a-list star to appear in this movie. The film is not only not that good for the most part, but it is also rather forgettable as other than a few scenes involving Candy and a plane I have very few memories of this movie. Granted I only saw the movie once, but I still usually remember a movie when I have seen it before. So in the end another unnecessary sequel to a somewhat enjoyable comedy (that being the first movie) and not something I would really recommend. However, it had some funny moments and at least it did not try to be exactly the same movie like the second movie did.
It's just too bad more of the original members of the cast didn't do
And too bad Hal Needham and Brock Yates didn't make the film.
If they had, they would probably had been able to get more of the original actors for this one. It's still a great film to watch nonetheless. Just a bunch of good fun and great races. No need to really get into the details...cause if you let the details ruin it for you, you'll never get into many movies.
I personally like not knowing who really won in the race, just goes to show you that the journey is better than who won.
I'm a big fan of the Cannonball Run movies of which this is the "unofficial" last installment. Jaime Farr reprises his role as the Shiek in an uncredited spot, the only role continued from the series. The movie does make a mark with me as having four of my top favorite actresses; Donna Dixon AND Melody Anderson, Alyssa Milano AND Brooke Shields. Unfortunately, the movie bogs down in places, especially where the Smothers brothers are concerned, and the fact that the comedy, as in the other two, plays second fiddle to the racing. There may be one REALLY good movie in merging all of these films together, but as it is, this movie really suffers in that none of the characters really get to do any real comedy.
(26%) Yet another cannonball run sequel aired on a lousy film channel with ad breaks every two and a half minutes. So I think I'll pass on this one thank you very much. But hang on. It stars the great late John Candy? I'm in. That's how this played out for me and probably many other people who've sat through this lame time passing turkey. So without Mr Candy I won't have watched this. But besides that aspect, what else is there? Well not a lot besides Eugene Levy playing a real jerk in a very small role, some limp comedy, some exotic cars getting mistreated, a few cameos, and Donna Dixon doing her best Marilyn Monroe impression. If you like John Candy as much as I do then you might want to give this a look, but there's nothing really to see here.
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