Date of publication: 04/21/1989
For cast, rating and other information, (click here)
By Roger Ebert
- Read my lips.
- Cars are not funny. Speeding cars are not funny. It is not
funny when a car spins around and speeds in the other direction. It is
not funny when a car flies through the air. It is not funny when a
truck crashes into a car. It is not funny when cops chase speeding
cars. It is not funny when cars crash through roadblocks.
- None of those things are funny.
- They have never been funny.
- People are not amused by them. No, not even the people unlucky
or unwise enough to have paid money to see a movie like "Speed Zone" -
or a movie like "Cannonball Run," of which "Speed Zone" is a pathetic
clone. Audiences sit in dead silence.
- Hollywood does not seem to understand this basic principle,
which is why so many movies have featured chases, crashes and flying
automobiles in recent years. Occasionally a chase will indeed be
exciting - when it has something to do with the plot, as in "The French
Connection" or "To Live and Die in L.A." But when a movie is all chases
and crashes, then the intelligent viewer will realize that what he is
seeing is a big payday for a lot of stunt drivers, and he will lose
- Nonstop chase-and-crash comedies have provided some of the
worst movies of recent years (both "Cannonball Run" movies, the
"Smokey" sequels, etc.), but even in that dismal company "Speed Zone"
sets some kind of record. This is a movie that lasts 95 minutes and
contains one (1) laugh. To save you the admission price, here is the
- Dickie Smothers: "We've got to go to the Dulles airport."
- Tommy Smothers: "What are we going to Fresno for?"
- Dickie: "What makes you think we're going to Fresno?"
- Tommy: "Well, you said the dullest airport, didn't you?"
- None of the other jokes in "Speed Zone" measure up to that
- The movie is still another waste of John Candy, who makes a movie
like "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" that showcases his genuine talent
and then waltzes into a cynical, no-brainer ripoff like this with
nothing more on his mind, apparently, than the rent check.
- The movie features countless other celebrities in bit roles,
but none of them make as lasting an impression as the Michelin
trademark, which is displayed throughout the film in a blatant example
of product promotion. Will Michelin sell more tires this way? I wonder.
Would you trust your life to tires made by anyone who thought
association with this film would improve their product's image?
Speed Zone Zero Stars
Charlie John Candy
Tiffany Donna Dixon
Alec Matt Frewer
Vic Joe Flaherty
Jack Tim Matheson
Heather Mimi Kuzyk
Lee Melody Anderson
Margaret Shari Belafonte
Valentino Brian George
Flash Art Hindle
Orion Pictures presents a film directed by Jim Drake and produced by
Murray Shostak. Written by Michael Short. Photographed by Francois
Protat and Robert Saad. Edited by Mike Economou. Music by David
Wheatley. Running time: 95 minutes. Classified PG. At local theaters.
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