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Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone are the reason why this
run-of-the-mill action flick actually works. There's nothing innovative
or special about the film, it's nothing we haven't seen before (maybe
just Russell in drag) but the film is entertaining as hell thanks to
it's two stars.
Stallone is Tango and Russell is Cash, two cops who get set up and sent to jail. They break out and go after the bad guys to clear their names.
The film has got some excellent action scenes, particularly inside the prison and during the break out. It's got some nice eye candy courtesy of one Teri Hatcher. The script also delivers some very funny lines now and then. Couple that with the fact that I actually do like Stallone do comedy and Russell has always been somewhat of a mini favourite; Tango and Cash is very worthy of my time every once in a while.
Downsides; Excellent actor Jack Palance is horrible in the cliché ridden bad guy role (I can't figure out if he's trying too hard or not at all) and the film has a really silly final 10 minutes where the action goes from cool to basically slapstick. Still, early 90's action fans should enjoy this flick.
Back in the 80's, kitsch cinema had two main sections - gory horror
movies and daft action films, of which this film obviously fits into
the latter. While the gory horror movies of the eighties often lacked
credibility, that section of kitsch movies beats the daft action films
because of the much higher content of inventiveness; but more often
than not, the daft action movies make for good entertainment, even if
they're somewhat less than brilliant. Tango and Cash is a notable
action movie because it stars two of the eighties most popular action
stars - Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, whose antagonistic
partnership makes up the core of this movie. The plot device to get the
maverick cops to work together is hardly important, but nevertheless it
follows the two as a corrupt state buys into a plot by a criminal
kingpin to land them both in jail, which promptly sees our hero's in
with the masses of criminals they themselves have sent to the clink. As
you can imagine, they're not the most well liked of inmates. Especially
not by 'Maniac Cop' himself, Robert Z'Dar...
The action in the movie comes thick and fast and this, when combined with the one-liner packed script make the movie feel more like a parody than a serious take on the genre. This is all good, however, as this movie is pure entertainment, and seeing two of the 80's hottest action stars fire off silly dialogue at one another is a treat to say the least. The action is over the top, and we get to watch our hero's do such things as slide down electrical cables and drive a souped up SUV around an explosion packed warehouse, and it makes for great entertainment. Of course, what the movie packs in action and snappy dialogue, it lacks in other areas such as credibility and depth; but nobody tunes into a kitschy 80's action movie for plot depth and sophistication, so blaming the movie for not offering these things is ridiculous. On the whole, if you're after a good two hours of solid action fare, you could certainly do a lot worse than Tango and Cash. This movie packs a lot of punch, delivered by two strong leading men. Thumbs up!
This masterpiece of Americana is perhaps the Greatest film ever made.
The amalgamation of Sylvester Stallone's sheer magnetism, and Kurt
Russell's commanding stage presence, has yielded a sonnet the likes of
which all Films aspire to be. Stallone portrays "Raymond 'Ray' Tango" a
highly decorated narcotics detective from Beverly Hills, who penchant
for the stock market, has granted him not only the finer things in life
but also a means to express his sophisticated nature and aspirations of
financial independence. Stallone masterfully shows the dichotomy of a
character who is highly educated and well mannered, yet is beset in a
cesspool of crime and depravity, Tango yearns for a better society yet
will not rest on his laurels of law and order. "Gabriel 'Gabe' Cash"
portrayed by the immaculate Kurt Russell, is the antipodean of
Stallone's level headed Tango. Cash is pugnacious, assertive, and
zealous yet his diligence to enforce law and order at all cost define
this tortured soul. Although this crass inner city detective has a
disheveled appearance and tough exterior he is simply trying to hide
his true feelings and desires for true love in an otherwise barbaric
The story begins as these two rival officers are competing for the title of LA's best cop. Although their methods and approaches differ, their goals are the same; to imprison Yves Perret a diabolical drug lord who catches wind of the duos escapades. With his Criminal Empire in danger of being toppled, Perret masterfully played by Jack Pallance, enacts his plan to destroy the two. In an act of carnal malevolence he frames them for the murder of an undercover FBI agent. Perret's corruption and debauchery know no bounds, as he weaves a duplicitous web of conspiracy the likes of which have not been seen since the Warren Commission. Evidence is tampered, so-called experts bribed, and in an attempt to save their lives, Tango and Cash agree to a plea bargain, under the guise that they will be sent to a Minimum Security prison, not amongst the general population. Perret then has them sent to a Maximum Security faculty amongst inmates that have been jailed by the two supercops, in an attempt to have them assassinated. Tango and Cash must then set aside their petty differences and discover the true meaning of friendship to escape the prison to clear their once proud names, and stop Perret once and for all, in a conclusion that will rattle even the sternest of men.
The chemistry between Stallone and Russell is reminiscent of Redford and Newman, if not greater, with snide remarks being made by both parties. The action, adventure, and violence are non-stop, yet the humanity of the characters is prevalent throughout the film, adding a much needed dimension to an otherwise cliché and tired genre. Tango is not just a mindless cop, he is multidimensional protagonist, who hearkens to the days of Bogart and Cary Grant. Cash desires the admiration of a women to complete himself, which he finds in Catherine "kiki" Tango, he is not simply a generic action hero who shoots guns and makes wise ass remarks, Cash has a quintessence and Russell pours his soul into the character.
All in all this film is the crowning achievement of Stallone and Russell and the Hollywood film industry. It is a cut of history, when master Artisans the like of Russell and Stallone are brought together at their peak with visionaries leading them to produce what is their destiny ..FUBAR!!!!!!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A lot of the reviews for this film use the word "fun", which is code for "unreal", "ridiculous", "silly". That pretty much sums up this umpteenth foray into the cop/buddy flick. The slight difference is the two guys aren't partners, but city rivals. But, as usual, they detest each other, battle a big bad guy, and have a sexy girl caught between them. One of the zillion unreal elements begins with these two guys constantly grabbing headlines in LA. Now, I've lived near LA all my life. Not once has there ever been an officer who was a superstar/celebrity type of superior abilities. And, as we usually see in movies, these guys are non-uniformed, fancy car driving studs. Anyway, off to the plot. The two guys are hated by an aged, wealthy drug runner (Palance). For reasons only known to him, he doesn't want the two simply capped in the head and out of the way. I assume he wants to physically and mentally torture them, so he orchestrates a, yet once more unreal, frame-up that lands the two in jail. There's even an obligatory "You're goin' down for this" from a fellow officer at the scene of the crime. Then, on the inside, ALL the guards are corrupt, which allows prisoners to roam the grounds at will, the powerful drug guy to pay visits, Russell and Stallone to be tortured in a boiler room, etc. Each guy has a friend on his side, Russell the warden, Stallone his captain. Now it's odd that the captain, who knows Stallone is innocent, fails to share this with other authoroties. Even the address of a henchman that he's obtained. After a prison break, there's the big bad finale where the two take on armies of machine gun blasting toadies of Palance's. Then a dopey final gunshot that puts an exclamation point on the list of unreal moments. Now, with all that said, why did I still like this? The dynamite script. Feldman provides a ton of one-liners and comic moments, which aided the implausibility of the proceedings. Not to mention some nicely shot moments of action. So, for a good "turn off your brain" adventure where you'll be asked to go easy on quality, give this a shot.
Despite what the rating says here at IMDb, take time and see this
action flick, you'll enjoy it. Ray Tango (Stallone) and Gabriel Cash
(Russel) are two rival Los Angeles cops, considered the best, that get
framed for a murder they didn't commit. They get put away in prison,
facing some of the criminals they've busted! Tango and Cash become, um,
sort of "buddies" while in jail. The convicts have their fun with the
both of them for awhile until they devise an escape plan, and do get
out. Once Tango and Cash escape, they must find out who it was that
framed them and find a way to clear themselves from that crime they've
been wrongfully accused of while trying to not get caught.
This is a good action flick, with a lot of comedy put into it, perhaps more than the directors would have anticipated. This movie will keep you glued to your television. It is predictable but it has good action and as I said very good comedy. 7/10, recommended!
It looks to me like everyone was having one rollicking good time making
Tango&Cash. This is the kind of film that you have to take as seriously
as an Indiana Jones adventure. After all their can be only one Indy.
But in this case we've a pair of cowboy cops who work in different parts of Los Angeles. Sylvester Stallone as Ray Tango and Kurt Russell as Gabe Cash are certainly known to each other however due to the headlines they've gathered smashing various criminal enterprises. They're also known to master criminal Jack Palance the Professor Moriarty of the film and he's rigged one elaborate plan for their disgrace and downfall and death.
As much as Stallone and Russell are enjoying spoofing their own action images, this film is absolutely stolen by Jack Palance. With tongue firmly in cheeking and hands twirling some imaginary mustache ends in the best Snidely Whiplash tradition, Palance is having a ball with his part.
Of course even when they're in the worst of trouble there's still that oneupsmanship that Russell and Stallone can't shake. And when Russell shows an interest in Teri Hatcher whom he later finds out is Stallone's sister, things could really have gotten interesting if it weren't for the joint problems they both were having.
When you watch this film, do not for one instant take it seriously and I guarantee a real hoot.
Tango is a smooth cop who dresses like a banker, deals in stocks and
shares but loves the action. Cash is a rough and ready action man who
lives life fast and dirty but is a better cop for it. Each man serves
on opposite sides of the LA and both are thorns in the side of crime
kingpin Yves Perret accountable for losing him millions in seized
drugs and weapons. Rather than just have them killed, Perret sets them
both up for the murder of an undercover cop supposedly in a sting
operation. With all the evidence against them they cop a plea for
minimum-security sentence which they don't get. With a violent and
angry welcome for them, Tango and Cash decide they need to escape soon
or be carried out plus, bringing down Perret is now their sole focus.
Although I know just what this film was going to be like, I thought I'd try to give it a chance and watch it again with a fresh pair of eyes. Nothing about the plot summary would lead you to expect anything other than a clichéd action movie and all that comes with it. And that is almost exactly what you get with this. The plot is predictable and really you are just watching it go through the motions and do just what you expect it to at almost every stage. The action is typically over-the-top and lacking the touch of realism that is usually needed to make it really engaging and exciting instead it is noisy and overblown, managing to be quite fun but certainly not gripping or involving. The character dynamics are also clichéd it is love/hate, bantering, mismatched cops stuff but ironically it actually works pretty well. The main reason for this is that the script shows that at least Feldman wasn't taking it too seriously the dialogue allows both to mock each other and stops them settling into their macho images too much.
Happily both Stallone and Russell buy into it and let themselves be made fun of as much as they get to give it. Neither are brilliant but at least they seem to have got the joke and avoid playing it too straight or just going along with the macho clichés. Of course they eventually get back to basics and (along with the film) eventually just gets down to big bangs and action movie traditions but for the majority of the film they just about do enough to make it fun albeit fun in a silly, rather guilty way. Hatcher doesn't add a great deal but it is interesting to see how good she looked then and how well she has aged in the past 15 or so years. Palance hams it up something awful and is a little painful to watch but he is matched by equally poor bad guys from James, Hong and a few others. Pollard does his usual stuff and is typical comic relief.
Overall this is a dumb action movie and if you hate that type of film then you will hate this. I must admit that, by the end, the sheer cheesy stupidity of the whole thing had started to grate on me somewhat but up till that point it had been silly and quite fun. The amusing banter is one plus and at least Stallone and Russell aren't taking it too seriously for the most part and provide enough to stop it being a totally predictable genre film even if it is a close run thing.
Okay, so this isn't the greatest film ever made. In fact, it isn't even
remotely the best buddy-buddy flick ever made. But surprisingly enough,
is actually quite a winner, and succeeds far more in being a parody of the
Lethal-Weapon style films than say... Loaded Weapon does. This is for
Firstly, Stallone is the star of the show here, turning in a self-mocking parody of his own screen persona. He is flash and indestructable, yet the film acknowledges and exploits this to comedic ends. Secondly, Palance is excellent as a sneering and menacing bad guy, plotting the two cops downfall. He deserved more screen time than he actually got, and actually did a good job of being the obligatory stereotypical bad-guy.
However, the best thing of all about this film is the snappy dialogue. There is so much good banter between the two-cops that no matter how bizarre the film's scenario's get, the dialogue rescues it.
The first time I saw this, I enjoyed it and was only really let down by the ending, which feels hollow and unsatisfying in comparison to the first two reels of the film. However, this nagging problem alone, I have no hesitation in recommending this to any fan of the action-genre.
Overall: 6 1/2 out of 10.
This is pretty good for what it is-Stallone and Russell's take off of Lethal
Weapon. Stallone does a pretty good job being the low key guy here, Russell
the loose cannon, there are gun fights, fights, escapes, the great prison
getaway, fun byplay between the two leads, oodles of belief suspending
needed and scads of stunt doubles used all through here.
My memory is mostly of Sly in the glasses, the Pickup from Hell, a lotta car chases and a real 'this is a spoof' air to it all.
Palance chews the scenery, Brion James does his usual good villain work....what more could you want?
*** outta ****, you get what you pay for here, and a little extra...
Tango and Cash is one of those films that people can get a huge amount
of enjoyment out of when taking it for what it is, or there will be
others who'll find it not to their taste. From personal taste, there
are a number of shortcomings but I cannot bring myself to hate it.
It's stylishly made, if very 80s, and competently directed, nothing comes over as amateurish. The soundtrack does pulsate with energy and is easy to remember, if a little intrusive in places(not that that is uncommon in action films). The script is snappy and delivered like dynamite, the banter between Stallone's Tango and Kurt Russell's Cash is a lot of fun. The story on the whole while very silly and predictable but it doesn't really ever become dull and it is easy to follow, the standout scenes being the opening, which is one of those scenes that sets things up so well it makes one excited for what will happen next and the brilliant prison escape, the prison scenes in general are among the better scenes in the film actually. The action, while very over-the-top, is decently edited, cool and endearingly kitsch without feeling too much. Sylvester Stallone is charismatic and effectively low-key and shows that he is at ease in the action scenes, his comic timing while much criticised in general is pretty good here, while Kurt Russell is a witty, soulful partner, the two of them being a well-matched pair. It is not everyday where you see Russell in drag, don't worry it is not as weird as it sounds.
Tango and Cash does have problems. The biggest problem is that it falls apart in the final 10 minutes, an ending so disappointing that it's easy to bring the film down more than one notch. It loses the energy that the rest of the film has and it goes well overboard in the silliness factor, with the slapsticky final fight feeling out of kilter. The main villain Perrett's comeuppance is also very anti-climatically handled. Teri Hatcher is probably at her sexiest here but her acting feels vapid. More problematic are the villains, here are very stereotypically written(especially Perrett, the drugs baron stereotype has been done a number of times and nothing interesting is done here) and only Brion James, here looking as if he is having so much fun, is memorable. You'd think that Jack Palance, a master of suavity, deadpan and intimidating menace, would be, but here he gives one of his weakest performances but it is not helped by that he is very underused and that he is the most clichéd character in the whole film. Palance was a great actor, and excelled better than most in villain roles but this is a portrayal where he does try way too hard that he's almost pantomimic, it also manages to be quite bland compared to his usual standard. His henchmen are even more blandly written, and sees James Hong in a rare completely uninvolved performance.
All in all, won't work for some and it is a long way from flawless but still incredibly entertaining and has a good deal of charm. Don't expect sophistication, anything new or depth, you'll be disappointed. In its defence though Tango and Cash never strived to be that kind of film. But if you are looking for an enjoyable, switch-your-brain-off-at-the-door film, there is a good deal to like. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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