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With a plot stolen from THE GUMBALL RALLY (1976) and CANNONBALL (1976), this wholly derivative car-chase movie provides a flimsy excuse for good ol' boy Burt Reynolds to cavort on-screen with a cast that's chock-full of familiar faces. The movie's premise involves a coast-to-coast road
race that offers a big-money prize to the winner. One would at least expect the action scenes directed by ex-stuntman Hal Needham to show some flair, but even these are uninspired compared with the much more creative (and cheaper) stunts found in the low-budget films of that era, notably those
produced by Roger Corman (EAT MY DUST, GRAND THEFT AUTO). Although the picture is completely unfunny, the producers laughed all the way to the bank: THE CANNONBALL RUN was one of the top-grossing movies of 1981. An equally unimaginative sequel, CANNONBALL II, followed in 1984.