Best Bad Action Movies #4: Tango & Cash

Year 1989
Stars Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Jack Palance, Brion James, Teri Hatcher, James Hong (Lo Pan)

Plot Rival cops and LA’s best, Tango (Stallone) & Cash (Russell), are both unknowingly framed by Jack Palance and have to work together to figure it out and shoot/blow-up their way to justice!

Jack Palance just came up with a scheme that will really stick it to Tango and Cash.

Highlights It begins with a black scene and Stallone saying, “OK… let’s do it.” An interesting choice, no? … I like to watch this movie and pretend Jack Palance is playing himself. It makes it even more fun. (I realize that is not a direct highlight from the movie, possibly more of a suggestion for you, the potential viewer.) His luxuries (i.e. a mirror room, a bar that doubles as a maze for mice) make less sense then some of the worst B-movie villains. … Kurt Russell is one of my favorite action stars and this is a cookie-cutter role for him at his best: blue collar, loud-mouth, take-no-guff hero. His acting often seems like a parody of himself – and while usually sporting dreamy mullets, none are more majestic than the one in this flick. …. Stallone on the other hand, plays a white-collar, rich cop. The only reason this seems to be the case is that they tried to pair up the original odd couple. Regardless, Stallone playing a high class, white collar officer is amusing. … The two stars combine to feature a couple of huge egos who butt heads, but share a passion for having no regard for common police procedure – a BAM plus. … Jack Palance goes through one insanely elaborate framing process instead of killing Tango & Cash because axing them would “make martyrs out of them.” Huh? Oh yeah, he also demonstrates it all with a couple of mice – the perfect analogy. … Brion James plays an over-the-top English henchman for Jack. “Bollocks!” … Random boobies!!! The first two scenes showcase how awesome both Tango & Cash are at kicking ass by their own rules. First up is Tango. Second is Cash, and it has one of the more gratuitous flashing of jugs. When a car the baddie is driving slides into a parked car, a chick getting boned rises from the back seat for no other reason than to flash some knockers to the audience. It is so wonderfully shameless. … There are two looped Casio-grade tracks that play throughout the movie – one is for easy-going or fun scenes, the other is for action. It conveniently lets you know what is happening if your are passing out on the couch and wondering whether or not to stay awake. … Teri Hatcher was hot. Why was she famous? I look at her credits on IMDb and cannot tell how I know her name (other than this movie, of course). … There is a “classic” good-cop/bad-cop scene that makes no sense. While hanging upside-down several stories up from the side of a building, the English henchman taunts T&C to drop him. Yet, when they switch it up, he is deathly afraid of a grenade strapped to his face. My guess is both would have probably had the same outcome. … The movie takes place in 1989 and yet, Jack already had face-to-face mobile video communication on huge TV displays in his lair. … The blend of action is wonderfully spread over all flavors, i.e. bullets, punches, BOOMS!

Drawbacks This BAM packs plenty of action, but for a top three BAM, it needs a bit more or even stupider non-action scenes. … With Stallone and Russell already being established stars, this BAM’s production level and competency is a touch too high – leaving out hilarious gaffes.

Best Take Runner Up: Kurt Russell in drag.

Best Take This flick goes balls-out for the climatic scene and none of it makes sense. It begins with T&C getting an SUV built like a tank with a giant gun hanging off the side from T&C‘s version of Bond’s Q. They enter Palance’s compound (filmed at a quarry) with the SUV and battle a super villain’s wet-dream of toys: pickup trucks with rocket launchers, dune buggy thingies, enormous construction vehicles, and a monster truck (the last of which does nothing at all). Bullets and explosions galore combine with little sense, while Jack watches it all from his wall of televisions. All of it leads to Jack pressing a self destruct button for the compound (no joke), setting T&C on a race against time, and ending with Jack in a mirror room.

Teri Hatcher: 80s Hot

Justification Wait a sec, was Stallone not already featured in Rambo: First Blood Part II? While true, and meaning he should not be on this list twice (according to my self-imposed rules), in this movie he is a co-star. It is weak justification, as it really comes down to my inability to leave off one of these two flicks. T&C was one of my absolute favorites growing up. There was everything all of the best BAMs had, plus a plot that seemed clever in my early years, and intentional humor that was high-larious at the time. (Stallone, “Rambo is a pussy.” See what they just did there?! Comic gold!) Today, I am able to rewatch it and have just as much fun, even if some of the reasons have changed.

Next Up? The best linebacker to ever suit up in the NFL takes Hollywood by storm.

About Judas Pato

Just another hard working member of the press, covering the Chicago Bulls and nonsense - often both, simultaneously.
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