Not in a Cannonball's Chance
Whilst I watched the first "Cannonball Run" movie numerous times during my childhood I never ever watched its sequel "Cannonball Run II". In fact I had the opportunity to watch "Cannonball Run II" shortly after reviewing the first movie but was so disappointed with the original that I gave it a miss. But as you can see I eventually got around to it and I am not entirely sure how I feel about it because in truth the focus has changed and seems more like a spoof of mob movies than a sequel to the original. Taken as a spoof it kind of works but then in turn ends up disappointing for those wanting lots of car action.
Now the little matter of storyline and it is a little matter because there isn't a great deal. What we have is the Sheik paying to put on the Cannonball Run again as the King is furious at him for losing the last one. Then there is the mob's involvement who seem to want to kidnap the Sheik. And then I am not really sure what else because there is very little storyline at all.
But as I said "Cannonball Run II" almost seems like it is just trying to be a spoof movie as it has that scatter gun approach with lots of scenes which don't connect to each other but are full of gags. Now some of these are not that bad, the whole intro scene to Don Canneloni talking to his men is genuinely funny with many of the actors from "The Godfather" appearing. But at the same time there are a lot of these scenes, many of those involving J.J. and Victor end up unbelievably weak. In fact most of the humour actually fails and because it is just one joke after another it becomes tiring.
What "Cannonball Run II" has is also a lot of characters and a surprising number of recognizable stars. Many of those stars such as Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin and Jackie Chan return but there is also the likes of Shirley MacLaine, Richard Kiel and even Frank Sinatra, although Sinatra's contribution to the movie is minimal. As I said it feels like a spoof movie and as such has the novelty factor of lots of stars doing stupid things in stupid scenes.
But for those who decide to watch this out of a pure love of madcap car movies full of terrific stunts will end up being disappointed as the car action is a lot less this time. Oh there are still some good scenes such as a cargo plane flying low over a road to drop a car off but it doesn't have the same car fun as the first movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Cannonball Run II" has its moments with some fun gags but for the most it is poor and certainly not on the same league as the original which in itself wasn't that good.