ASIAN FILM - Review
11:00 - 24th January 2016, by NEO Staff

The Cannonball Run / The Cannonball Run II

A mad-cap race across American states – illegal and with a big money prize – attracts characters from across the world. Expect screwball comedy, crazy car stunts, a few fist-fights – and brief glimpses of Jackie Chan.

These films are not Chan’s first Hollywood appearances (that honour goes to Battle Creek Brawl from 1980). However, they see him cast alongside American stars such as Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Chan’s screen time in each film is roughly five minutes. One fight in the first film, two in the second – though he is upstaged in the sequel by Richard Kiel (aka Jaws). Oh, and he’s cast as a Japanese owner of a hi-tech Mitsubishi, despite speaking Cantonese.

This is surprising, really. Both Cannonball films were co-produced by Golden Harvest. Yep – the same company that made many of Chan’s other films, as well as Bruce Lee’s, and the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trilogy.

If you are already fond of these films, this HD transfer may be for you. Otherwise, audiences could be put off by the blatant sexism, racism and random jokes. Fanservice is present courtesy of lycra-clad Lamborghini drivers. Jamie Farr blacks up as ‘The Sheik’. And Dom DeLuise becomes Captain Chaos (Dun Dun Duuun!... don’t ask…)

Jackie would have to wait a few years for Hollywood stardom, but his end-credits-outtakes trend seems to have been inspired by these films.

Stay for Jackie Chan’s early Hollywood appearances – leave for the misfiring jokes (which are in the majority)…
SCORE: 2/5
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