Rakesh's movie talk

Tango & Cash (1989)

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Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky and Albert Magnoli
Written by Randy Feldman
Starring Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Palance and Teri Hatcher


I believe the whole of 80s is more guilty than 70s. For one, they gave bad pop music. The hairstyles are bad, much worse than 70s. No comments about the dress, though the women are the maligned lots I’m afraid. On the movie side, there was teen fraternity comedies (hey, the ‘showy’ ones are good, though), cheap horror movies and buddy cop movies. Witness the success of the latter with films like 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon (and sequels), Red Heat and the subject of this review Tango and Cash. Of them all, I rate Tango as the worse. So bad, that actually you don’t mind coming back and investigate its badness.


For one, I think Stallone is miscast. He is absolutely bad in comedy that he should have stuck to the usual monosyllabic grunting block of concrete like in Rambo films and Cobra. Here, he even had the chick to deride his own character Rambo, in one sequence where this exchange took place:


Anonymous cop: He thinks he's Rambo.

Stallone: Rambo is a pussy.


Next, the crime story is painfully predictable. Very comic book stuff, where the only thing missing a guy with mask and cape. Jack Palance reprises his usual creepy bad guy role, with horrible dialogues (even worse than the 60s superhero tv cartoon). It nauseated me when he was playing with those mice. Yuck! We got your point, Jack.


Coming back to the story. Now, Kurt Russell is Cash, the slobbish cop and Stallone is Tango, the dapper, wall street dealin' cop. Both are so famous and have been instrumental in the Palance's characters anger. They keep busting Palance's people and this is not making the old man any mellower, if you pardon my Greek. Palance devices a plot to trap these two and succeeds as Tango and Cash are convicted of a crime they didn't commit. Okay, you see the friction between these two, and add to that Palance's bad guy. Throw is some bad puns and one-liners, unbelievable hardware (the RV would make Q blush) and tonnes of explosion you have action buddy cop film. Now, is it that bad?


I actually enjoyed it. I mean, all those bad elements I talked about actually beg you to not to take it seriously.  It is an all out comic book stuff, and if you are willing to overlook Stallone's performance, you can enjoy yourself. The lines are so bad that sometimes you laugh at it's badness or sometimes you just go along and laugh thinking that they are witty.



Wait, I have not mentioned about Russell. All I can say is he knows which film he is in and takes out the right measure of performance for it. He was fantastic in Big Trouble In Little China, but it had a great script. Here, all Russell could do was to attach some respectability to an otherwise cheap looking movie. Oh, he looks great in those drags. "Dykes on Bikes," indeed.