6.4/10
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163 user 59 critic

Tango & Cash (1989)

Framed by their ruthless arch-nemesis, a mismatched LAPD crime-fighting duo has to put its differences aside to even the score with the evil kingpin who put them behind bars once and for all.

Directors:

Andrey Konchalovskiy (as Andrei Konchalovsky), Albert Magnoli (uncredited)

Writer:

Randy Feldman
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3,372 ( 476)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Lt. Raymond Tango
Kurt Russell ... Lt. Gabriel Cash
Teri Hatcher ... Katherine 'Kiki' Tango
Jack Palance ... Yves Perret
Brion James ... Requin
James Hong ... Quan
Marc Alaimo ... Lopez
Philip Tan ... Chinese Gunman (as Phillip Tan)
Michael J. Pollard ... Owen
Robert Z'Dar ... Face
Lewis Arquette ... Wyler
Edward Bunker ... Capt. Holmes (as Eddie Bunker)
Leslie Morris Leslie Morris ... Hendricks
Roy Brocksmith ... Fed. Agent Davis
Susan Krebs ... Prosecutor
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Storyline

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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two of L.A.'s top rival cops are going to have to work together... Even if it kills them.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Set Up See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,628,918, 25 December 1989

Gross USA:

$63,408,614

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$63,408,614
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Cash is fighting Mr Potato-Head in the climactic battle, one of the villains who has a protracted fight with Tango is played by an uncredited and early-career Jean Claude Van Damme. See more »

Goofs

The first newspaper shot of Tango and Cash shows them being arrested with their hands up. There were clearly no flashes or cameras when the cops busted in on them at the set up. See more »

Quotes

Gabriel Cash: You know, it's a free country, Tango.
Ray Tango: Yeah.
Gabriel Cash: And people are free to do whatever they want.
Ray Tango: So?
Gabriel Cash: Well, your sister is very, very free.
Ray Tango: I'm going to kill you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For its original UK cinema release, the BBFC cut 43 seconds from a pre-cut American version of the film so that it would receive a 15, rather than an 18 certificate. The cuts included the removal of a head-butt, a toning down of the strangling of the Chinese suspect, edits to Cash swinging a baseball bat during the prison fight, Tango hitting the fellow inmate's head against the prison cell bars, shots of both men being dipped into water containing live electricity cables, Cash's outburst in the prison where he refers to Requin as a "Limey Immigrant jerk-off", and Requin's response where he calls Cash a "fucking wanker". The full version was released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray with an 18 certificate. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bernie Mac/Good Charlotte (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

It's No Crime
Performed by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (as Babyface)
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
Written by L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons (as D. Simmons)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cheesy, dated, clichéd, predictable and basic but the lead performances and silly dialogue make it silly fun for those in the mood
6 June 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

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.


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