Written by / 9/18/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

BURT REYNOLDS DRIVES 'HOOPER' WITH JAN-MICHAEL VINCENT

Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER Year: 1978 Rating: ***1/2

By the time HOOPER hit theaters, star Burt Reynolds and director Hal Needham were already reeling from the blockbuster success of SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, a car-chase movie with a lot of stunts — so it made sense to have their next literal vehicle be a tribute to stuntmen...

Plus the fact Burt liked doing his own, and Needham was a genuine Hollywood fall guy for decades, making this a doubled-down labor-of-love that mostly strays from the intentional silliness of SMOKEY, but with a few exceptions...

Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER

Like the feeling both cast and crew are having more fun than the audience, especially an overboard and corny James Best, providing Burt's titular Sonny Hooper pain pills while on the set of a pretentious director's action flick...

Where Robert Klein is the Peter Bogdanovich-like diva auteur and BATMAN Adam West the Reynolds-like superstar while Hooper's the top stuntman... just starting to feel too old for the job...

Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER

Mostly because of a young upstart in Jan-Michael Vincent, perfect for the role opposite Reynolds for his natural ability to not seem like he's acting, or trying for any performance but being a tough and dependable anti-sidekick...

Leading to a nail-biting final stunt discussed/anticipated for the last half that... despite a cliche bar brawl and a filler romance with Sally Field (daughter of stunt-veteran Brian Keith)... puts HOOPER on a grounded, set-course contrasting the endless-road-zaniness of the previous film that got 'em there.

Burt Reynolds in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and James Best in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER with Brian Keith
Burt Reynolds in HOOPER
 Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Cannonball Run villain George Furth in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Brian Keith in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Big finale stunt in HOOPER
HOOPER Burt Reynolds watches DELIVERANCE Burt
Robert Klein, Alfie Wise and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Tara Buckman in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and SALLY FIELD in HOOPER
Great stunt from HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent on DAN AUGUST: DEATH CHAIN
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER
Burt Reynolds and Jan-Michael Vincent in HOOPER

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