A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
Aging stuntman Sonney Hooper is still on top as one of the best stuntmen in the business. But up and coming Ski is starting to do bigger and better stunts. Hooper has the experience to setup a stunt safely, and Ski lacks the common sense to know when a stunt is too dangerous. Maybe together, along with their fun loving buddies, they can do a stunt together that will surpass anything that anyone has done.Written by
Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>
At the night scene, when Hooper is out riding a horse, a jumps over a fence. It's clearly visible that's it not Burt Reynolds sitting on the horse. The hair is wrong and the mustache looks fake. See more »
Outtakes from stunts performed in the movie are shown over the closing credits. See more »
TV versions have included numerous outtakes which include a much longer party scene following the fight at the Palomino Club in which: Ski discusses his marital woes with Gwen in Hooper's kitchen (a dropped subplot); an awake, and very rowdy, crowd views "stunt reels" culled from "Deliverance"; and Jocko and Sonny have a lengthier sunrise discussion about babies. Later on, Sonny and Ski also get into a hairy fistfight outside of Sonny's trialer. See more »
"Hooper" is a delightful tribute by star Burt Reynolds and director Hal Needham - both of whom began their careers as stuntmen - to those brave men and women who risk life and limb for the movies. It remains endearing and upbeat throughout, sometimes getting serious but never melodramatic. It's naturally jam packed with amazing stunt work, and quite a few explosions as well. The cast is completely engaging, and everything is played with a respectable amount of humour.
Burt plays Sonny Hooper, an old pro stuntman who realizes that a new day is coming, and that a new breed is emerging: younger, tougher, more daring. A prime example is up and comer "Ski" (Jan-Michael Vincent), who comes to work on the same movie that Sonny is currently gaffing. It's Ski who encourages Sonny to try one of the riskiest car stunts ever filmed.
"Hooper" has just enough story to be involving, and one can't help but like these characters. Burt is charming, with an incredibly foxy Sally Field playing Gwen, the girlfriend who stands by him. Vincent is very likable, as are the supporting performers such as Brian Keith, John Marley, James Best, Adam West (in what is really a nothing role, as the actor for whom Sonny doubles), George Furth, Don 'Red' Barry, Robert Tessier, and Tara Buckman. Comedian Robert Klein is good as Roger Deal, the jerk director of the movie-within-the-movie, who cares not for going over budget or risking lives as long as he gets his shots.
Burt has a great moment right at the end as he acknowledges us in the audience before providing us with an appropriate and satisfying punchline.
Eight out of 10.
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