OK! I know I’ve been missing in action for what seems like eon’s to me. I’ve been desperately struggling to clamber my way back to do this amazing hobby I so love. Promised myself I wouldn’t keep apologising and say sorry for being away all the time, so, sorry. Doh! “Dabnamit Wolfboy! hold it together man!“. I’m just dipping my filthy big clawed foot back into the paddling pool to see if I can find a way to scribble smaller, maybe quicker reviews. Before, I tentatively look back at the drafts and try tackle the backlog of half written film articles I’d started months back.
So here we go. Following on from my last post, Blue Thunder, starring Roy Scheider you might be thinking that ole wolfy just been lazy and looked down Roy’s filmography and went, lets watch that one. In fact, I’ll have you know, I searched up great thrillers you’ve probably not heard of or something along those lines. And halfway down the list, there it was, Cohen and Tate. The article got two things right, I’d never heard of it and secondly, it was a pretty decent thriller. Me, being me, didn’t read the basic premise and jumped straight in. Those two good guys on the poster where gonna save the day in a thrilling but ultimately sweet buddy road movie kinda way, right? DOH! once again…
How wrong was I? These two are murderously despicable. Two hit-men employed by some unseen, unnamed Mafia honcho for a touch of clean up work. Waste some witnesses with a shotgun full of slugs and a massacre of bloody rain followed by a spot of kidnapping.
Roy Scheider plays Cohen, a trench coat wearing older guy, lets say seasoned. He’s a wiry assassin for hire. His sidekick, Tate, is played by Adam Baldwin. A wild, deranged and unpredictable, Terminator-esque leather bond psychopath. There’s no love lost between these two. Cohen’s been lumbered with Tate and he’s not to best pleased. Maybe it’s the professional in him or the fact if the job goes sideways his life is on the line. The job was simple. Get to the safe house, grab the kid, Travis Knight (Harley Cross), and drive across the country to the drop off point. There the kid would be interrogated and they’d get paid.
Cohen summons all his strength to tolerate the angry, messed up Tate. They don’t get along at all. His straight down the line sense of professionalism has his nerves tested with this unhinged, maniac he’d annoyingly been saddled with. Keep calm, keep your head down and get the job done Cohen, must of been flicking through his mind..
Tate – “How about this? We pull to the side of the road, and I’ll do it with my bare hands. Let’s give his head a little twist, just a little pop to hear how it sounds. We dump the body and we blow out of here, hey!“
Cohen – “I’m not gonna warn you again. Let’s all just try to make it back to Houston in one piece. Because the way things are going, one of us won’t.“
The poor kid, Travis, is obviously broken and distraught. He’s beside himself with fear. Gun shots and death had filled his ears and before he knew it, he was all alone Thrown in the back of car. Any noise he made the demented Tate shoved a shotgun barrel in his face and spat and screamed at him. He cried, he sobbed, then somehow comes to terms with his situation. For a young kid he sure has some balls on him. Slowly he ties to escape in anyway he can. He starts to feel out his abductors, little digs here and there, just enough to keep them on their toes. It’s a long journey, it wasn’t going to end well? What did he have to lose?
Cohen and Tate was a good watch. Roy pretty much walks it but is cold enough to give him a sinister edge. Roy is his usual solid stoic self compared to Adam Baldwin’s, no stranger to playing crazy and unhinged. He plays his part over the top, nutty as a fruitcake and brings his best maniacal lunatic to almost comically extreme levels. Which brings us to young Travis who was excellent as he tries one thing after another to mess with these two killer jerks. The Old MacDonald, sleepy time bit was fun and notable. Considering it’s just three actors in a car for most of the movie it’s great that the script and interactions keep your attention glued to the screen.
Tate – “Hey what’s the last thing that goes through a bug’s mind when it hits a windshield?“…. “IT’S ASS!“
I’m a big fan of both the two main leads. Roy Scheider, of course, is best known for Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978). Also brilliant in The French Connection (1971) and Klute (1971) and one of my first movie reviews The Seven-Ups (1973). I haven’t seen many of his 80s or 90s films so please give me a nudge if there’s any of note? Plus I adored watching him play Captain Nathan Bridger the science fiction series SeaQuest 2032 (1993/95). Ok it was cheesy and had a talking dolphin but I enjoyed myself.
Now on to Adam Baldwin (not directly related to the Baldwin Brothers I read but connected through some ancient Baldwin ancestry apparently). Animal Mother from Full Metal Jacket (1987) was my first introduction to him. Then probably saw him next in Predator 2 (1990) But it would be TV series that I’d come to love him in most, there was The X-Files but then Jayne Cobb in Firefly (2002/03) and the follow up film Serenity (2005) were big favorites. And, quite possibly, I may of been the last man on Earth, hehe, to have stayed right til the end of The Last Ship (2014-18) where he played XO Mike Slattery. It was good switch the old brain down nonsense but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cohen and Tate was written and directed by Eric Red who’d written the screenplay for the Rutger Hauer thriller classic The Hitcher (1986) and also penned the vampire horror Near Dark (1987) with Kathryn Bigelow.
Wolfman’s rating – 7/10 IMDB Rating – 6.3/10
“YEAH I did it!“. Feel free to let me know if you’ve seen this one, got recommendations or factoids or just want to have a go at me for disappearing for so long. 🙂
Big love and keep watching those screens…. Mikey Wolfman
5 thoughts on “Cohen and Tate (1988) The Hit-Man, The Psycho And The Kid Go For A Drive”
You and me both, my friend! I started getting back into the swing of things, was planning on a post per week, then I got sick – twice – and that botched up a month and a half of my life, and now I’m all out of whack with writing for my sites! And yes, like you, I’d always thought this was some sort of ‘Running Scared’-type of buddy cop/action film…NOPE!
But hey, it’s ’80s, it’s got Chief Brody, and you gave it a 7…how can I go wrong? If my library has it – or that particular foreign movie site I found does, and it seems to have everything – I’ll be checking it out.
And wait a minute…something’s not right…I feel like there’s something missing. Oh yeah…WILL I BE NEEDING TO PAUSE THE VIDEO PLAYER?
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Hoping you are all mended now bro? Or at least back on the high road of recovery.
Yeah you know the woes of trying to get back in the throw of things.
“Running Scared” I love that movie. I do love a fun buddy movie. I thought the same. But nah! It’s far removed from that.
Just chucking link in if someone passing the comments and thinks I remember that film those two dudes have mentioned…
Good old Chief Brody. 7 might be pushing it but it’s a strong film for the budget and the varying levels of acting that go a little cheesy at times to extremely suspenseful. And because of that, a strong 7 was awarded. It’s well worth a look if it pops up in 2nd hand store for a dollar.
LOL. No pause button this time my friend but there’s a little homage to it over at Showdown In Little Tokyo 😉
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Okay, as soon as I check out a few reviews from our friends Mike and Greg, I’ll head over to Little Tokyo to see what’s cookin’…
Yes! I was confused too for a minute! THAT’S a Baldwin?! I asked myself. But noooooo. It’s that other guy from Full Metal Jacket. I remember him! He was so creepy. I guess he’s what D’onofrio would have turned into if he hadn’t folded into himself and perished.
So happy to see more of your fun phrases: “massacre of bloody rain” LOL
I KINDA remember this…somewhere in the back…far back in my brain. Definitely an enjoyable weekend or late-night “I can’t quite get to sleep yet” movie. And I love Roy S.
I saw Serenity in the theater with a bunch of girls when it came out, and I’ve never lived it down with hubby. He loathes Joss Whedon, lol. “Horses in space?” He doesn’t think Joss’s attempt to make a “space western” worked AT ALL, lol. I don’t care! It was fun.
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Full Metal Jacket was and still is incredible film making from Kubrick. So many unhinged characters in a messed up time. It’s has such an interesting cast. No real big “Hollywood” star connected to it but all the cast shine and get their moment. Damn that D’Onofrio scene!!
I love that you noticed the “massacre of bloody rain” as I almost took it out for being a bit over dramatic. LOL But I do like to drop a fun little phrase when I can. So thank you.
I was a big fan of Firefly and adored Serenity too. “Horses in space?” Haha I get your hubbies head shaking but no, I’m with you, it was fun. And big lol at him loathing JW HAHA
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