Remember those bozos from the last movie? Well they’re back, Jack! And ready to ride their way to victory in a cross country road race. When the Sheik is kidnapped by some mobsters the cannonballers gotta pull out all the stops to help him. Will they free the racist caricature (and perhaps win the big race) before it’s too late? Find out in… Cannonball Run II.
How?! The Sheik is pretty embarrassed about losing the last race due to an unforeseen plot hole so he sets up a second one to prove his worth. While everyone is gathering, however, it is revealed that the goofball son of the Mafia don has gotten in deep with a rival mob. He comes to collect from Jamie and Morris (the priests from first film) and they point to the Sheik as a way to get the cash. A plan is in motion to kidnap the Sheik and ransom him for the large sum that the rival mob is asking for. If this sounds terrible and in no way related to a film about car racing you are correct. Anyway they all get new gimmicks. J.J. and Victor are now impersonating Army generals, Jackie Chan is back with a new robot car, the drunk priests are now impersonating cops, the hot ladies are still just hot ladies, and the good ol’ boys are back except now one of them is Tony Danza and they have a car driven by a orangutan… yeeeeessh. Basically nothing happens for a while except J.J. and Victor pick up a couple of actresses dressed as nuns and Jackie Chan’s car goes into a lake and turns into a submarine (best scene of the film). Eventually the Sheik is kidnapped and our heroes hatch a plan with Frank Sinatra to infiltrate the Mafia’s hideout and get him back. This culminates in a big fight which they win. They then finish the race off screen and we are treated to seeing the orangutan declared the winner. THE END.
Why?! More like Whhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy??!!! Amirite? The motivations are the same. J.J. and Victor want glory and fame, the priests/cops are in it to clear their gambling debts, the hot ladies just want to go fast, Jackie Chan is back to prove the superiority of Japanese racing technology and talent, and the good ol’ boys just want to have a good time (but the orangutan sure is making it tough)… god, writing about this is making me sad.
What?! Someone switched sponsors! Last film everyone was crushing Budweiser. This film? Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) is in everyone’s hands. Also want to note that back in 2011 there was a lot of buzz for a remake of The Cannonball Run series starring Brad Pitt which was supposed to birth a new generation of product placement as it was funded by GM. It never came to fruition and now the remake seems to be in the works sans Pitt and GM.
Who?! Victor played by Dom DeLuise is probably the best example of a Planchet we’ve seen in quite some time. The man is generally a good guy, a great friend, and a bumbling chubby idiot at the same time. So of course J.J. treats him like shit. He is always hitting him and calling him names. Congrats Victor, you are a very good BMT thing coming out of a truly terrible film. Frank Sinatra makes one of his final screen appearances in a bizarre set of scenes where it’s obvious that he was never in the room with any of the other actors. On top of that they all more or less grovel at the feet of Blue Eyes. Joe Theismann followed in Bradshaw’s shoes and appeared in this film. Finally I have to give a big shoutout to Don Knotts who made a cameo appearance here as a highway patrolman who gets attacked by an orangutan (this is real).
Where?! Road Trip Alert! Still a roadtrip movie, but no nearly as good as the last film. It starts in Redondo Beach, California, but then almost immediately spends most of its time hanging around Las Vegas. It finally jumps to CT at the end. So not a great road trip but better focus on a single place. B-.
When?! Better chance this time to see an actual date as there were fliers for the race, but I couldn’t make out the date on any of them. Maybe if I had an original print of the film or happened upon a large cache of props. Until then… F.
This movie is terrible, terrible, terrible. It is just a knock-off of the first one with a lot of the good stuff removed. It’s barely even a racing movie anymore as they mire themselves in a Las Vegas mobster plot that is real tedious to get through. It’s amazing that both the first one and the second one were so bad considering their success, but this one makes the first one look like a masterpiece. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Oh snap, you remember that crappy movie you made a few years ago on a shoestring budget? It made boatloads. A sequel is going to be easy. I mean … the jokes write themselves! Well, actually, if we do it right the jokes are literally already written … Let’s get into it!
The Good – Oof. Uh … Jackie Chan’s story is a bit better this time around. I was mentally prepared for watching this trash because I had seen the first one. That’s it.
P’s View on the Preview – Now having watched the original I knew what I was getting into. The first was garbage. The second is considered worse so … double garbage, all the way, oh my gosh. Otherwise I guess I was most interested in seeing Frank Sinatra play himself a bit? I wasn’t looking forward to watching this to say the least.
The Bad – This film is totally and utterly unnecessary. They don’t even do a cross country race. They go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (an afternoon jaunt) and then animate the entire thing at the end! It is crazy. Burt Reynolds and DeLuise are particularly bad in this one, I’m skeptical they even had a script. If they did it said “Burt and Dom improv for 15 minutes, end scene” at times, I guarantee it.
Get Yo Rant On – In the previous recap I talked about Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise’s comic stylings. This time let’s get a little shout out for everyone else involved. Jamie Farr plays a truly racist caricature (and not in a “the times they are a-changin” kind of way, he’s in blackface in 1984). In back-to-back films they inexplicably cast Terry Bradshaw and Joe Theismann. The main pair of ladies basically just show their breasts the entire time. Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin … the less said the better. And … who knows I can’t remember anyone else. Like an orangutan. These characters are neither interesting or funny and on most occasions offensive. So congrats Cannonball Run II, you managed to make a not-funny film even less funny and more offensive.
The BMT – Now this! This is a real Razzies-Calendar-Smellements film, it ticks the games off like crazy. It is one of those classic bad movies we just had to watch. Would I want to watch it again? Never. But maybe just show the opening scene and turn to whomever you are talking with and say “You see? You see this garbage? Do you want more of this? Didn’t think so” and shut it off.
Welcome to Earf – Not surprisingly The Cannonball Run and its sequel have the same chain: Burt Reynolds was in Cannonball Run II and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale with Leelee Sobieski who was in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – At one point in time Gene Siskel suggested this film was the worst film ever made. There aren’t many lists from the time, but do yourself a favor and watch the Siskel and Ebert review:
They absolutely destroy Burt Reynolds, that man had a family! Presumably, I don’t know. I think it would be a few years before he got married and adopted his son.
Besides the BONUS of The Cannonball Run there was no homework. Turns out that despite Speed Zone being referred to as Cannonball Run III in the literature, it is not in fact a sequel. Good for me since I’m not sure I could have watched a third version of this trash.