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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1976. Action.  94 minutes. Rated R. Coy “Cannonball” Buckman (David Carradine) enters an illegal trans-American car race.  The grand prize is big money, and the competition is ruthless.  Driving skills alone do no good in this competition, as “Cannonball” Buckman soon finds out that he is the main target of the race.  On his cross country trip he encounters resistance on every turn.  Come along for the ride as he fights his way to the finish.
Although Cannonball falls far short of perfection, it was by no means terrible.  The first thing you notice with this movie is the cars.  I guess that’s good if you’re into the car thing; I’m not.  The movie provides some laughs along the way, both of the intentional and unintentional variety.  In particular, there’s one German racer who provides a memorable and hilarious scene.  I also enjoyed the rather flamboyant dress of “Cannonball” Buckman.  At times the movie seems slow, as most of the action is packed into blocks, which is great when the blocks come, but painful when they’re gone.  Aside from Carradine (Kung Fu, Kill Bill) the acting is average.  When I first saw the title I immediately thought of the The Cannonball Run.  In the little research that I conducted, I found no relationship between the two movies other than the fact that they are based on the same Trans-American race.   DVD extras include a trailer, an interview with Carradine, and poster galleries.  The movie stars Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, and Archie Hahn.  There’s also a brief appearance by one Sylvester Stallone.  On a scale of 78, Cannonball gets a mediocre 39.  – C Clark



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