Aging Hollywood stuntman Sonny Hooper wants to prove that he's still got what it takes to be a great professional in this risky, under-recognized line of work.Aging Hollywood stuntman Sonny Hooper wants to prove that he's still got what it takes to be a great professional in this risky, under-recognized line of work.Aging Hollywood stuntman Sonny Hooper wants to prove that he's still got what it takes to be a great professional in this risky, under-recognized line of work.
- (as Norm Grabowski)
The Classic "Burt Reynolds" movie.
Seems like people either loved or hated old Burt back in the 70s. He was huge. Funny thing about his career was the fact that his early B movies in the 60s were serious little numbers on the whole and he never seemed to get anywhere. Then in a supporting role in Borman's "Deliverance" he exploded on the movie scene like an atomic bomb. Even his longtime fans from his "Gunsmoke" days like myself were stunned. Then, again he seemed to be stalling. Then he did something most of us where not expecting...he went pedal-to-the-metal comedy. Burt Reynolds was funny...very funny. His arrogant demeanor evenly tempered by a twinkle in his eye, he could charm a cornered rattlesnake. His fans were in on the joke the whole time while the others just plain hated him. It was their loss. He would go back to the serious movies after his tenure as the top box office dog, and he would finally get the much deserved respect from the Hollywood Mafia he had earned, but Burt at his best for most of us is still Burt being funny. Hooper, for me is still his best film while at the top. It was his poke in the eye at Hollywood and the crap so many actors have to endure. In a nutshell- Director is an ass, doesn't care about anyone but himself and his movie. Producer has no spine. Writer is treated like hired hand. Certain actors are treated like royalty while the stunt doubles do all the real (and dangerous) work the actors will no doubt get rave reviews for. Hooper's the best because like all the great stuntmen and daredevil types, he's a thrill junkie. Everyone knows he can't turn down a challenge to attempt the next bigger and better stunt. But he's getting old and the pounding his body has taken is catching up. His girlfriend wants him to stop and raise horses with her. Her father was a stuntman and when Hooper was a snot nosed wannabe he hounded the older man until he took him in and became his mentor. Now a new snot nosed wannabe is hounding Hooper. He sees what he's becoming in the old man, now just another Hollywood relic, and he sees what he once was in the new kid, the promise of becoming the best. Brian Kieth as the old man is outstanding. He was an underrated actor his entire career. Jan Michael Vincent is almost as good as the new kid hot on the heels of Hooper's King-of-the-Stuntmen Crown. As with all these Reynolds' comedies in-jokes and silliness abound, and action is top notch. Unlike the others this film also has good dramatic moments. Reynolds was never a great actor, but by the time this film was made he had become a damn good one. Supported by Sally Field and Brian Kieth and Robert Klien and many others, it's one of the best films he has made so far. Ex-NFL great Terry Bradshaw and several other off the wall cameos are peppered throughout. The twinkle never goes away and at the end Burt looks us straight in the eye and throws the final punch just for us. It may not be great "film" but it's great "Movie" making, just plain popcorn munching fun. If you like Burt, this could be the ultimate Burt Reynolds movie. If you like movies about Hollywood or just like to laugh or thrill to fantastic stuntwork this movie is a must.
- Jan 3, 2005
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