This nostalgia look back review is for Tango and Cash from 1989
Tagline – “Two of L.A.’s top rival cops are going to have to work together… Even if it kills them.“
Who’s our hero today?
Special offer! Two for the price of one. Two mismatched LAPD lieutenants are reluctantly bound together to fight an evil kingpin. Raymond Tango (Sylvester Stallone) is cool, suave and sophisticated whereas the polar opposite Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) is a wild, brash maverick. There’s no way these two are gonna become friends? Welcome to the buddy cop movie genre..
Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
May of even rented the VHS a couple of times! I took quite the shine to this one when it was released. Did it hold up after 30 years? We will soon find out.
Quick plot run down.
With two super cops making the headlines for large drug busts across Los Angeles it not long before the head kingpin of the smuggling empire has to act. Each drugs bust results with their faces plastered over the news papers. They needed to be stopped. An elaborate plan is set up to discredit them from the police force. Leading both Tango and Cash sent off to a maximum security prison. A prison filled with hate and vengeance for the two cops and the kingpin free to carry on with his business. Can they get along with each other long enough to escape? Can they clear their names and bring down justice on this drug lord?…….
Does the hero have a day job?
When they not working out and tweaking those muscles they spend their days smashing bad guys heads against walls. Both working different areas of Los Angeles. Tango working the Beverly Hills Police Department and Cash is based in Downtown LA. Both the best cops on their patch and both couldn’t be more far apart in police styles.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Tango is all about flash, sleek suits and being cool, calm and collected. He works out a plan and executes it to perfection. Cash on the other hand is rough round the edges. Likes to wear cowboy boots with surprises. Happy to storm into any situation with all guns a blazing to get his result.
Heroes weapon of choice?
Tango goes for a Smith & Wesson Model 36 side arm. Cash prefers his Ruger GP100 with custom laser sight.
Heroes drink of choice?
Cash grabs a beer in a club but gets distracted by body whirling beauty.
Does hero have a sidekick?
I guess the closest to a side kick for the duo would go to Owen (Michael J. Pollard). A loopy, mad inventor who’s Cash’s police force division version of James Bond’s Q. Head of research and development for inventive weapons and vehicles. Like a head exploding fake dog, shotgun boots and the end of level RV from hell, super-cop wagon.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Step forward Lady Tango otherwise known as Katherine ‘Kiki’ Tango. She is played by Teri Hatcher and please stop me if I’ve forgotten or gone completely loco but this has to be the most saucy Teri Hatcher has looked right? Her dance sequence in her tight leggings and sparkly bra was something else. Then to top it all off? she only goes grabs some drumsticks and beats the electric drums. Too hot!
Who’s the main baddie?
That awesome grizzled, chiseled cheekboned cowboy Jack Palance plays the all powerful head kingpin Yves Perret who shouts orders and runs all the bad stuff.
Baddies special skills?
Kissing his pet rat, hanging around in his Bond villain style lair and blowing shit up whilst laughing with his fantastic voice. “Rats in a maze, men in a cage.“
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 7/10
Likes to shout and blow things up but his ponytail cockney is the real muscle. See familiar faces down the page for more info on him.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 10/10
Both go into everything like a wrecking ball.
Surely it features a training montage scene?
Not this time.
Does it feature an impossible mission?
Hey if these two opposite ego’s can get along who knows what they can achieve?
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Does buttock muscles count? We get an eyeful of Sly and Kurt’s butt cheeks playing the bongo beat as they get indoctrinated into new prison life.
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Rubs knees and then hands. Picks up note pad. “Oh what do we have here then… OH yes that was super random!” Time stamp 7.38 car chase in car park. Cash smashes into a parked motor! Up jumps naked lady with boobs pressed against back window. “Oh they were having it off in there! OK”
Plus put 1:07:05 in your diary. Cash gets invited to the back changing rooms. “Multiple sweetness“.
Depends if you’re Tango listening in…… on an innocent massage. Kiki – “I’ll move it left a bit, almost there, deeper, ooo there you go“. Big brother not impressed. “Hey did you bump the ugly’s with my sister!?”
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
Haha it has to go to Kurt Russell. After asking to borrow a guys leather coat to get in disguise you wait for him to appear as a biker. As the cops are waiting outside for him, down steps Cash in drag as Lynn smoking whilst trying to walk sexy. It’s a funny scene. Especially when a fascinated cop takes a shine to her until he’s brushed off. “Ooo dykes on bikes!“
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
There’s lots but for big budget action amounts, it’s a top heavy medium.
Best death scene?
Best death scene happens at the end of a jail break, roof set piece fight between Tango and Face. You see it coming. Electrical power station and rain. At the last second he gets kicked in the middle and shocked to death with electric lightning bolts.
Robert Z’Dar plays Face, head thug in prison with a big grudge against these two cops. Robert Z’Dar is one unique looking bad guy who’s popped up in few action and horror movies over the years. He’d had a medical condition called cherubism that had resulted in an enlarged jawline. He is best remembered for Tango and Cash, the Maniac Cop series and Cherry 2000 (1987)
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
It was plodding along with the normal amount of 80’s action movie explosions when suddenly you get to the end and they blow the shit out of everything. Explosion ratio through the roof.
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
One Stallone stunt double does a dive through a corridor flying on a cloud of pure flames! Think he lived to stunt again.
Any cool car chases?
There’s a few but none compare to the mayhem and carnage of the finale. Which involves a monster truck and two gigantic quarry trucks and enough TNT to blow up half the world!
(Prison shower scene.) Tango – “Hey! Hey what you doing?” Cash – “Picking up the soap?…….And don’t flatter yourself!…. Peewee!“
Random criminal – “Who do you think you are? Hey! He thinks he’s Rambo!” Tango – “Rambo is a pussy!“
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
There a lot of them to be honest but I’ll just do this guy. The bad guy’s head henchmen is Leon from Blade Runner (1982) the one and only Brion James. Here he plays a red headed British cockney with a ponytail called Requin and gets some very funny scenes. One hung upside down from his legs over a high-rise being interrogated.
Requin – (in a dodgy London accent) “Piss off! I like this! The view’s great up here! Heh, heh!” “Up yours, arsehole! You ain’t worth a toss! Go on, drop me! Do it!“
Tango and Cash production took a massive hit. Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky, who had made the excellent freight train to hell film Runaway Train (1985) is listed as the director. However the project went through four different directors with everyone clashing with producers as the budget flew through the roof. Creative differences and loads of script rewrites all went to making it a hellish production.
Top end of medium cheesy or bottom edge of high cheese? OOoo I’ll let you decide that one. The music amps the cheese even more. Actually what am I thinking this is big cheese!
IMDB score rating – 6.4/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 8.5/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 6.5/10
There’s a lot of banter between the bedlam and pandemonium. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Kurt in drag is a sight to see! The whole end is just one big explosion Car’s flying through fire, rocket launchers shooting off and blowing the shit out of everything. I still enjoyed it but man-o-man it’s not as good as I thought I’d remembered. Haha
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want. However, most important, have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.