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Cannonball Run II

This film is so inept that the best actor in the pic is Jilly Rizzo. But he has a great advantage: he's on screen five seconds and he doesn't have to talk.

This film is so inept that the best actor in the pic is Jilly Rizzo. But he has a great advantage: he’s on screen five seconds and he doesn’t have to talk.

Sequel to the all-star, 1981 hit The Cannonball Run, which was in turn an embellishment of Roger Corman’s Cannonball (1976), plays as if former colleagues – producer Albert Ruddy, director Hal Needham and stars Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr – don’t even have to make an effort any more. It’s the ole boy network kind of filmmaking, joined this time by Frank Sinatra (playing himself) and Shirley MacLaine, in terms not endearing.

Again, a bunch of crazies, in a disparate collection of cars, are engaged in racing across the country to collect a lot of money. Action on the road, as encounters with most of the supporting players resemble nothing more than day work for majority of the cast, is limited to dusty, desert highway scenes (filmed in Arizona). To depict the later momentum of the race, filmmakers engaged Ralph Bakshi to show the race’s progress in animation.

Execution is uninspired, laughs are hard to find, and the script is also difficult to locate. Reynold’s high-pitched laugh is wearing thin.

Cannonball Run II

  • Production: Golden Harvest/Warner. Director Hal Needham; Producer Albert S. Ruddy; Screenplay Hal Needham, Albert S. Ruddy, Harvey Miller; Camera Nick McLean; Editor William Gordean, Carl Kress; Music Al Capps;; Art Director Thomas E. Azzari
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1984. Running time: 108 MIN.
  • With: Burt Reynolds Dom DeLuise Dean Martin Sammy Davis Jr Telly Savalas Shirley MacLaine
  • Music By: