A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
- Hal Needham
- Brock Yates
- Golden Harvest Company
- Eurasia Investments
Bring together a group of the day's biggest stars, a whole lot of fast vehicles and a based-on-real-life premise and now you are ready for some real 1980s fun. Netflix brings all the action, adventure and laughter right into your living room. The story is said to be based on the movie writer, Brock Yates, experience with real road rally-type races during the 1970s where groups of eccentric characters would race each other across the country to a predetermined finish line. Noting that these races were never sanctioned by any group and were extremely illegal, which was half the fun. It has been speculated that the real races were run in protest of the mandated 55 mile an hour highway speed limit decreed in the United States during the time period.
Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise, hot off the heels of their own road trip movies, head the cast of misfits who are challenged with driving the multi-state course at illegal speeds and practicing some dirty dealings along the way; with the goal in mind of doing whatever it takes to win the race. The race starts in New Jersey and ends in California with a lot of mishaps, stunts, one-liners and wild adventures between the start and finish lines. As the picture was filmed in Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, Nevada and California, the viewer will enjoy the beautiful scenery of this country as the wildness ensues.
Even though each team is vying to win, with dirty deeds and trickery prevailing, there is still a sense of camaraderie that lifts what would be just an ordinary screwball comedy into a slightly loftier position. The driving teams duke it out with one eye on the prize but the other eye carefully watching out for each other. It is never really clear who will be the winner until the very end. Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Farrah Fawcett and Terry Bradshaw are just a few of the big stars that make up the driving teams and each part is played with an eye to the audience with cheeky, and quite funny, references to other work the actors have done. It is like the audience is included in the inside jokes. For example, when a black Trans Am shows up in the last burst of the race toward the finish it is definitely an homage that Burt Reynolds fans can appreciate.
Hal Needham directs the all-star cast and uses his experience in the genre to make an action packed movie. Golden Harvest Company and Eurasia Investments were the production companies behind the film. The total budget was $18,000,000 and the movie grossed $59,900,000 in the United States. There is much action in this movie considering it was filmed in just 36 days. An interesting note about this movie is that it is Jackie Chan's first US movie. Needham has a habit of including movie outtakes during the final credits of his features and that is where Chan actually gets the idea to do them in his movies also. Although not an Oscar award winning movie, it is fun nonetheless and it is wonderful that Netflix makes these older films available to a new audience that may never have seen them any other way. So sit back, strap in and get ready for a wild ride.