Taglines: The popcorn is in the lobby. The nuts are on the screen.
The Sheik who competed at the last Cannonball Run, is berated by his father for not winning it. So he tells him to go and win. Problem is that there is no Cannonball Run. So his father tells him to make one of his own. He puts up a million dollars as the prize. So former Cannonballers J.J. and his buddy Vince join, as does Blake and Fenderbaum and some other characters. But Blake and Fenderbaum owe a mobster some money and the mobster owes some other guy more. He then decides to grab the Sheik and hold him for ransom so he can pay the guy back.
Cannonball Run II is a 1984 American comedy film starring 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.
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.
About the Story
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. 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 driver, a private. They catch the attention of Betty (Marilu Henner) and Veronica (Shirley MacLaine), who are dressed as nuns for a musical, but remain in character and hitch a ride with JJ and Victor when they think the guys could become overnight millionaires. They do not lose their habits until later.
Other racers include Mitsubishi engineer Jackie Chan, teamed with a giant behind the wheel (Richard Kiel) in a car—a Mitsubishi Starion—able to go under water. In a red Lamborghini (white at first) with “two great-looking chicks in it” (as the cops chasing them continually say) is the duo of Jill Rivers (Susan Anton) and Marcie Thatcher (Catherine Bach). Another team (Mel Tillis and Tony Danza) is accompanied by an orangutan, who at times appears to be the driver. They are pulled over at one point by traffic cops Tim Conway and Don Knotts.
Cannonball Run 2 (1984)
Directed by: Hal Needham
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Jamie Farr, Frank Sinatra, Marilu Henner, Sammy Davis Jr., Telly Savalas, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Anton
Screenplay by: Hal Needham
Cinematography by: Nick McLean
Film Editing by: William D. Gordean, Carl Kress
Costume Design by: Kathy O’Rear, Norman Salling, Don Vargas
Set Decoration by: Charles Graffeo
Art Direction by: Thomas Azzari
Music by: Al Capps
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 29, 1984