Tango and Cash (1989) — A wild guilty pleasure

“You broke THAT jaw? I’m impressed!”

PoolMan’s rating: One very guilty pleasure, coming right up!

PoolMan’s review: As my Rating might imply, Tango and Cash is a heck of a guilty pleasure. You know that movie that you love but you can NEVER get anyone to watch with you so you rent it on a Tuesday morning when you’re home sick from work and watch with a bowl full of cheesies and that plaid blanket you only use once a year but you’ve had since you were nine? This is that movie. For me, anyways. This movie has so much going for it, even though logic dictates that 99% of the world would probably dismiss it as goofy, violent, and immature. Which it is.

Story wise, Tango and Cash isn’t that much different from a lot of buddy cop movies (with the exception of the lack of a token black actor). Sly Stallone plays Ray Tango, a suave, stock-savvy cop with impeccable fashion sense and a practically non-existent temper. Kurt Russell plays Gabriel Cash, a brash, guns n’ fists first kind of cop, who really doesn’t care who he steps on to nab the bad guy, so long as he’s having fun.

The great part of such clichéd characters is when they’re played to the hilt, and Stallone and Russell don’t disappoint. They both look like they’re having mountains of fun with their characters, and with each other. The chemistry between them is surprisingly good, particularly when Tango acts all unimpressed with Cash’s style. It’s tough to explain, it’s just fun to watch.

So the boys get framed for crimes they didn’t commit by Jack Palance (who I swear, should get at least one job per year where he plays a ridiculously over-the-top crime boss, he’s hysterical as always) and sent to prison. But instead of the minimum security place they plea bargain for, they get shipped to Federal Pound You In The Ass Prison. Nasty things happen, as the entire prisoner population seems to have been put there by our two heroes, so they elect to escape and prove their innocence later. Bullets fly, witty remarks are exchanged, and lots of stuff blows up. Standard macho action.

To this day, I don’t know why I like this flick so much. It’s not all that brainy, but it is loads of fun. If you like your Stallone subtle and your Russell in Big Trouble in Little China mode, you’ll have fun here.

Didja notice?

  • Tango smashes the screen door when he jumps through it, but when it is on top of Cash it is in one piece.
  • The lights on the RV get shot out, but keep coming back on
  • Clint Howard strikes again, as the freaky looking “Slinky”.

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