THE CANNONBALL RUN (1981) – This movie’s a bust — Adrienne Barbeau’s, specifically


If you’re familiar with the late 1970’s/early ’80s movie love-fests between Hal Needham (stuntman turned director) and Burt Reynolds (stuntman turned overindulged star), you’ll recognize The Cannonball Run as the tail end of a movie “series” that began at least fairly promisingly with Smokey and the Bandit.

This one is a fairly plotless number about a cross-country, high-speed chase-cum-race. Big-bust enthusiasts will greatly appreciate Adrienne Barbeau’s mostly-unzipped outfit, and a nifty cameo by Valerie Perrine as the only cop who slows her down. (Since the movie is rated only PG, it skips the obvious next step in the Perrine-Barbeau fantasy, in which Adrienne would use more dramatic measures to worm her way out of a ticket.)

The rest of the movie plays like a car-crash version of “The Love Boat,” in which aging stars amuse themselves with supposedly hysterical cameos. (Aging Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. scrape the bottom of the barrel as bogus priests.) Why do the bustiest stars always appear in the worst movies?