Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running on Empty

The Cannonball Run is a mix of 70s modern, with Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise, and one foot in the old school, with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Even though it was made in 1981, the fact that everyone is driving with a drink in their hand gives it a 60s feel for me.

It's a story that's been told a million times: a bunch of oddballs in a long distance race. Bert and Dom are driving a souped-up ambulance, with insane proctologist Jack Elam in back with drugged and shanghaied airhead Farrah Fawcett as patient. Sammy and Dino are dressed as priests in a Ferrari. There are some cuties in a Lamborghini, using their wiles to avoid tickets. There are some good ol' boys, and a couple of others I forget. Jackie Chan and Martin Hui play Japanese (!??!??) drivers in a computerized Subaru that goes "hilariously" wrong. At least he gets a small role in the melee at the end.

I was ready to laugh at this, but it was a pretty rough slog. Some plot might have helped - most of the scenes were pretty much standalones. Caring about the characters, maybe that's too much to ask, but mostly they were just creepy. Maybe it just needed better jokes and stunts.

Anyway, Farrah Fawcett, R.I.P. She's had better.

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