Cannonball! (1976)

R   |    |  Action, Comedy, Crime


Cannonball! (1976) Poster

Racing across the country from L.A. to New York, a plethora of exotic cars carry contestants hoping to win a very large sum.


5.5/10
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15 July 2005 | bensonmum2
7
| A Nice Ride
  • The basic premise of Cannonball has been done several times - a diverse group of drivers compete in a cross-country race where anything goes. Sound familiar? Hal Nedham ripped the guts out of Cannonball for his Cannonball Run made five years later. The difference, though, is that while Cannonball is often funny with some great action, Cannonball Run is often too over-the-top and unwatchable. It's too bad that Bartel's movie isn't as well known as Nedham's. While it will never be confused with Citizen Kane, Cannonball is a thrill-a-minute, cheese-filled good time.


  • Bartel's direction is one of the highlights of the movie. You would think that a 90+ minute movie of watching cars race might get boring. It's not. Bartel keeps things moving and there's never a dull moment. Bartel does a great job of mixing race action, comedy, fight scenes, and a little drama to create a well-balanced, enjoyable movie.


  • As far as acting goes, David Carradine naturally stands out. He's a car driving, butt kicking machine. Carradine is able to add a little authenticity to the movie by doing a lot of his own driving. There are a couple of spinouts where you can actually see that it's Carradine sitting behind the wheel.


  • My biggest complaint with Cannonball involves the spectacular pile-up at the end of the movie. It gets off to a good start with cars plowing into each other followed by explosion after explosion. The problem is that it goes on for so long that it started to have a morbid feel to it. It bothered me that, as a viewer, I could only assume that there were people supposedly driving those cars that were bursting into flames and I didn't see any survivors. I can only assume that everyone was burned to a crisp. Sure it's a little picky, but it bothered me.

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