Burt Reynolds stars as Sonny Hooper, the best damn stuntman alive. Hooper’s working on an Adam West spy movie and gets to do a bunch of insane stunts (like doing a freefall while holding a dog in his arms). He also has to contend with an up and coming stuntman named Ski (Jan-Michael Vincent) who idolizes Hooper. Eventually they become friends and together they concoct lots of crazier and crazier stunts, culminating in a rocket car jump over a blown up bridge.
Reynolds and director Hal Needham both got their starts as stuntmen and Hooper is their love letter to them.
Reynolds’ Good Ol’ Boy charisma keeps you entertained, even when things get all schmaltzy during the third act. Hooper is a Reynolds vehicle through and through and it features him doing what he does best: Driving fast cars and making smart ass wisecracks, so I could easily forgive the film for its lapses into melodrama. Reynolds’ Smokey and the Bandit co-star, Sally Field gets the thankless role of Hooper’s concerned girlfriend. The excellent supporting cast (which includes John Marley, James Best, Robert Klein, Terry Bradshaw and Robert Tessier) adds to the fun.