The Cannonball Run is probably the perfect example of a movie that somehow ages horribly and perfectly at the same time. It was critically shat upon when it came out in 1981, and when I watch it now, about 30 years later, I can see why, yet, it's 30 years later and I'm still watching it. Is it me? Possibry, but there's just way too many interesting things happening here for this movie to be ignored as a classic.
Let's first start off the with tragedy, Farrah Fawcett AND Dom DeLuise died in 2009 making in the single most tragic year for the cast. Could you imagine attending two Cannonball Run related funerals in one year? Poor Burt Reynolds lost his fat drinking buddy best friend and the woman of his dreams from 1981. How can he sleep at night?
Others have past as well, like the two members of the Rat Pack (SD Jr. and Dean Martin).
Aside from Burt Reynolds, probably the most successful actor that came out of this movie was Jackie Chan, and he's only in it because he can do karate and the dynamic writers of the movie can unleash a barrage of ethnic jokes.
In fact, you can see this movie's true beauty within its awkward politically incorrect jokes which have become unintentionally funny because racism is different now. Racism has evolved so much, that Burt Reynolds calling Sammy Davis Jr a "chocolate monk" isn't racist anymore, whereas if you watched the movie in 1995, it'd be terrible, and at the same time, the cops calling the Arab contestant, a "camel jockey" seems wrong by today's standard because of the recent crisis with that camel fucker in
Next, you mix in an obscene of amount of drinking and driving (as this was before M.A.D.D., who more and more make me believe they deserve much more credit as being the killers of drunk driving being an acceptable thing to do, despite what the law says) with stunts, stunts, stunts and more stunts. Burt Reynolds lands a plane in the middle of a Podunk town to grab a sixer in this movie. What's not to like?
Despite all the flaws you have in this movie, there's only one that bothers me. When all the contestants start the race, they have to punch in this clock, which marks the exact time they leave. Some racers leave hours before others, yet at the very end, it comes down to a foot race. Maybe I shouldn't be so serious in my quest for continuity in a movie that has Terry Bradshaw in it.