Cannonball Run II(1984)

Cannonball Run II(1984)

Cannonball Run II (1984) is a comedy film featuring Burt Reynolds and an all-star cast, released by Warner Bros. and Golden Harvest. Like the original Cannonball Run, it is a set around an illegal cross-country race.

The film received eight Golden Raspberry Award nominations at the 1984 Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor, and Worst Actress, but no wins.

This was the last of the "formula" comedies for Reynolds. It is also marked the final feature film appearances of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Their appearances, coupled with those of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Shirley MacLaine, marked the final on-screen appearance of the old Rat Pack team.

Plot

Having lost the first Cannonball Run race, Sheik Abdul ben Falafel (Jamie Farr) is ordered by his father (Ricardo Montalban) to go back to America and win another Cannonball Run in order to "emblazon the Falafel name as the fastest in the world." When Sheik Abdul points out that there is no Cannonball Run that year, his father simply tells him to "buy one."

To make sure his ulcer does not prevent him from winning, the Sheik hires Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing (Jack Elam), who teamed with JJ (Burt Reynolds) and Victor (Dom DeLuise) in the first race as his in-car physician. He brings along a blond-haired servant (Doug McClure), who receives numerous slaps in the face from both the sheik and his father. Most of the participants from the first race are lured back, including JJ and Victor, who have taken jobs working with a flying stunt crew.

In a subplot, Blake (Dean Martin) and Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) are in financial trouble with Don Don Canneloni (Charles Nelson Reilly), who in turn is in financial trouble with mob enforcer Hymie Kaplan (Telly Savalas). After the Sheik manages to bail out Blake and Fenderbaum by handing one of Don Don's thugs a stack of cash, Don Don hatches a plot to kidnap the Sheik in an attempt to extort money from him.

The race begins with JJ and Victor dressed as a US Army general and his private driver. They catch the attention of Betty (Marilu Henner) and Veronica (Shirley MacLaine), who are dressed as nuns for a musical, but willing to hitch a ride with JJ and Victor when they think the guys could become overnight millionaires. They do not lose their habits until later.

Don Don's enforcers continue to blunder one plan after another, with predictably slapstick results. The racers band together to invade the bordello. JJ, Victor, and Fenderbaum infiltrate it in drag, dressed as belly dancers. Others barrel in by car and rescue the Sheik, who is reluctant to leave since he has his pick of women there.

In the end, the Sheik bankrolls Don Don's bordello and then declares that he is upping the stakes to $2 million for the winner. All jump into their vehicles and make a dash for the finish line and avoiding some traffic patrollers on the way. The Sheik, as it turns out, loses yet again (this time blaming the doctor who rode with him for injecting him with an unknown substance), but convinces his father that he will win the return-trip race, having hired the winner of this one. It turns out to be an orangutan with a penchant for destructive behavior and giving elderly ladies the middle finger.

Cast

Burt Reynolds as J.J. McClure
Dom DeLuise as Victor Prinzi/Captain Chaos. DeLuise also appears uncredited as Don Canneloni
Dean Martin as Jamie Blake
Sammy Davis, Jr. as Morris Fenderbaum
Jamie Farr as Sheik Abdul ben Falafel
Ricardo Montalban as King Abdul ben Falafel
Telly Savalas as Hymie Kaplan
Marilu Henner as Betty
Shirley MacLaine as Veronica
Susan Anton as Jill Rivers
Catherine Bach as Marcie Thatcher
Foster Brooks, Sid Caesar and Louis Nye as the fishermen in the rowboat
Jackie Chan as Jackie Chan, Mitsubishi engineer
Richard Kiel as Arnold, Jackie's driver
Tim Conway and Don Knotts as California Highway Patrol officers who pull over the driving monkey
Mel Tillis as Mel (back from the first film) and Tony Danza as Terry, the limo drivers with the orangutan
Jack Elam as Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing
Charles Nelson Reilly as Don Don Canneloni
Michael V. Gazzo, Alex Rocco, Henry Silva and Abe Vigoda as Sonny, Tony, Slim and Caesar, Don Don's henchmen
Jim Nabors as Private Homer Lyle, a parody of his popular character, Gomer Pyle

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