The polar opposites, Ray Tango, a suave and sophisticated police officer, and Gabe Cash, his overzealous long-haired partner, are a mismatched LAPD crime-fighting duo who work tirelessly to bring down their arch-nemesis, the ruthless drug lord, Yves Perret. However, when Perret manages to incriminate the pesty team with falsified evidence, Ray and Gabe will soon end up in a maximum-security prison, where an almost endless parade of inmates previously incarcerated by them, are waiting for their captors impatiently. Now, more than ever, Tango and Cash need to put their differences aside to come up quickly with a good plan, not only to escape the jail's walls but also to even the score with the evil kingpin who put them behind bars once and for all. Of course, that's easier said than done.Written by
There are multiple references to other action films of the era. Later in the film during the RV from hell chase sequence, there is a fire and Cash says "now we're cookin'" this line was also uttered by Riggs during the opening chase of Lethal Weapon. Finally, during the same chase sequence, Tango asks Cash who taught him how to drive and Cash' response is Stevie Wonder; a driving Stevie Wonder reference is also used as a joke in Die Hard. These films are shared similar writers and staff at the time so it's possible the lines were even recycled by the same writers. See more »
Tango smashes the screen door when he jumps through it, but when it is on top of the police chief it is in one piece. See more »
Despite a very problematic ending, Tango and Cash still has plenty to make it an at least enjoyable film
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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