Movie review: “Tango and Cash”

Tango and Cash was such a fun action movie with two of the best actors of that genre – Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell! I’d seen it when it first came out in 1989, so when we spotted it on the ‘old and forgotten DVDs’ rack tonight, we decided to indulge our sense of nostalgia.

Tango and Cash are two highly successful narcotics cops based in Los Angeles.

On the one hand, there is Ray Tango (played by Stallone). Impeccably dressed and with a sense of consummate style, he chases down the baddies while sticking to the rules and regulations governing the police force. He looks more like a banker than a cop – and indeed, he is financially so successful with legitimate enterprises (he has an investment banker on call to advise him which stocks to buy or sell), that when his boss asks him why he is still working as a cop when he could easily retire, he replies that he does it for the action.

On the other hand, there is Gabriel Cash (played by Russell), who is also a narc in LA, but successful in a completely different way. He isn’t averse to bending the rules when they don’t suit him (such as his rather unconventional method of questioning an assassin who shot at him), and judging from his usually smelly and dirty clothes, he doesn’t have a girlfriend to impress or a wife to appease.

Both of them, in their own unique ways, are seriously upsetting a powerful crime lord, who specialises in drugs and weapons, Yves Perrett (played by the late Jack Palance – a prolific actor whose film career spanned about 50 years – in a sometimes quite irritating over-the-top style). So Perret decides to frame the two for a murder, as a result of which they end up in a prison, from which they then have to escape in order to prove their innocence – and to take revenge on the baddies with some heavy firepower.

As a movie with so many macho fight scenes would be incomplete without a romantic angle, add Tango’s gorgeous sister Katherine (or ‘Kiki’) (played by Teri Hatcher who also starred in Lois and Clark as well as being the Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies) who is a dancer in a club – note: she’s a respectable girl, she doesn’t strip! She does, however, swing her legs higher than I’ve ever seen anyone do. Cash, predictably, falls for her – and she, similarly, cannot resist the wicked twinkle in his blue eyes, much to the dismay of Tango.

The interactions between Tango and Cash, who initially despise each other but who ultimately have to work together to get the job done, are very funny. They bitch and moan, mock and criticise each other, bickering like an old married couple. I wonder whether the two of them invented the “bad cop, worse cop” routine in this movie? 

For a real flashback to a different era, go and take this out.

It’s full of good, old-fashioned fight scenes with no cables, ninja-warriors or fake slow-mos: just well-defined and sweaty bulging muscles, fists thudding into tight abs, breath-catching leaps across chasms onto a cable down which the two heroes foofie-slide with their belts in the pouring rain with electricity flashing across the cables…

Brilliant stuff. 🙂


Other movies we’ve watched in July:  

One thought on “Movie review: “Tango and Cash”

  1. Stallone and Russell play well off each other, and with Palance lurking in the background, this buddy-breakout never loses its way. It’s crazy, but at the same time, very fun. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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