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  Cannonball Run  
 
"Don't you know that riding motorcycles is dangerous?"

Jackie Chan takes on evil biker thugs in Cannonball Run.
 
Chinese: 炮彈飛車
  Year: 1981    
  Director: Hal Needham    
  Producer: Raymond Chow, Albert S. Ruddy    
  Cast: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom Deluise, Jackie Chan (Sing Lung), Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis, Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Hui Koon-Man, Jamie Farr, Bert Convy, Peter Fonda  
The Skinny: Enjoyable early eighties fluff featuring a young Jackie Chan.
   
  Review by Calvin McMillin:

Faithful LoveHKFilm.com readers may be scratching their heads at the inclusion of Cannonball Run, the 1981 screwball comedy starring Burt Reynolds at the height of his popularity, and featuring an all-star cast of clowns as they race across America. From Roger Moore poking fun at his 007 persona to the madcap antics of reunited Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., Cannonball Run is an awfully silly, but admittedly fun ride.

Now if all that sounds entirely irrelevant to a website dedicated to Hong Kong cinema, well, here's the justification: it features an early American film appearance by martial arts megastar Jackie Chan. But it's not exactly a plum role for Chan or an accurate portrayal of Asians either. Though both Jackie and Michael Hui (brother of Swordsman's Sam Hui) are clearly speaking Cantonese, their characters are erroneously identified as Japanese Subaru drivers. The fight choreography in the flick isn't that special either as poor ol' Jackie has to make do with an American stunt crew unfamiliar with the finer points of Hong Kong action. While it's no Police Story or Drunken Master stunt-wise, at least Jackie gets to kick Peter Fonda in the head. That's got to be worth something.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Chan's involvement in this otherwise unsuccessful attempt to help him break into the American market is the fact that if it weren't for Cannonball Run, those precious end-credit outtakes that every Jackie Chan buff cherishes wouldn't have come into existence. Chan got the idea from this movie, which in fact, was one of the first (according to director Hal Needham) to contain outtakes at the end of the film. As a proper showcase for Jackie Chan, Cannonball Run fails miserably, but as a fun little goofball flick that'll kill about ninety minutes of your time, this movie's a real winner. And besides, in what other film will you get to see Jackie Chan gawking at porn? (Calvin McMillin, 2002)

 
   
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
HBO
Widescreen
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio Commentary
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image courtesy of HBO Home Video
 
   
 
 
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