If any studio personifies the adage “so bad it’s good”, it’s Cannon Films. The Israeli studio headed by Golan and Globus is responsible for a glut of films over more than a quarter of a century. Their “quantity over quality” approach was amazing. The sheer number of projects they shepherded through to completion is astounding. The fact that they took on Hollywood with their brand of filmmaking is a testament to their bravado and their ability to make deals.
This documentary is a “wild” ride as advertised right in the title. From the early days of the studio delving into T&A films, through to their heyday in the early to mid ’80s when their action flicks saw them peak, every period is given time. The interviews reveal the extent of the fantastic nature of the studio. Some are hard to believe.
Unfortunately, the need to spin a wild tale ensures that there’s what I’d characterise as more than a passing tendency to gloss over important facts. The demise of Cannon is played out as the result of the company getting too big for its britches. The documentary is quite willing to omit the effect of the stock market crash in 1987. While it’s an incredibly fun watch about the rise of an unlikely influencer in the film industry, it’s a little too interested in playing the entire venture as a joke. That sells short the fact that in amongst the glut of average to downright terrible films, there are some absolute gems. “Runaway Train” is not only a great Cannon film, but it’s fantastic film in general. I think a tribute to the successes of the studio outside of their expansion would have made for a more balanced piece.
Still, decades later fans around the globe are revelling in the films of the Cannon Group and filmmakers are creating documentaries on their work. Golan and Globus had an incredible effect on the film industry, and they’re far more than the joke this sometimes makes them out to be.
Format: Blu Ray
Consisting largely of talking head interviews, the digitally shot footage is detailed and naturally graded. The archival footage varies from poor to good quality. Encoding is decent, but there’s a lot of content on the disc and compression artefacts occasionally show up.
The new interviews offer excellent dialogue clarity, whilst archival interviews and footage have varying sonic qualities. All in all, it’s as should be expected, and when combined with the soundtrack it’s a lively listen.