Back again with another review of a flick I think you need to see. This one came to me from a conversation with Larry and Mark Espinosa. Mark was suggesting I knock out some of the all-time greats, such as Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. I plan on getting to them. The films that nothing I would say about them would be new, and honestly, if you have not seen those flicks, just send me a message explaining yourself. And no, I will not accept that reason. But during that conversation, somehow Kurt Russell came up, and I started thinking. Kurt Russell is Hollywood royalty, but what flick did you maybe miss? Tombstone, Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Overboard, Backdraft, Stargate. Not many people would have missed them, but I have two for you. This is the first one.
Tango & Cash
Two hot-shot Los Angeles Police officers are, essentially, rivals. Gabriel Cash is played by Kurt Russell, and Raymond Tango is played by Sylvester Stallone. They are both Lieutenants and pretty much just bust drug dealers in their areas of Los Angeles. One is the Westside and one is the Eastside and both essentially are vying for the best in LA. They eventually make the biggest bust of their collective careers and that just so happens to belong to Yves Perret, played by the insanely good Jack Palance. Yves has insane pull and gets the the two hot-shots framed for the murder of an FBI agent. And, even knowing they did not do it, they are found guilty and sent to prison. That is when this flick gets awesome. As the two go back and forth with digs and quips against one another, they realize they are in prison with a lot of bad dudes that they put in there. They need to get out or be killed because Yves has insane reach and controls the prison. They get out but now they have to clear their names. I will leave the story there but here are some awesome things I love about this about this flick.
First, this movie has an awesome cast. Yup Kurt Russell, Yup Sylvester Stallone, Yup Jack Palance. But did I mention Stallone has a sister? And that sister is played by the insanely gorgeous Teri Hatcher who is only in her second flick. So way before her turn as a Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, before Lois to Dean Cain’s Superman, and before her eight seasons on Desperate Housewives. Who else? How about the late Michael J. Pollard. And if you are telling me you don’t know who he is, look him up. Let’s just say, Michael J. Fox added the “J.” as his middle name as an homage to him. Michael’s real middle name is Andrew. Okay, but there are more. Brion James. This guy is in everything. He is so damn recognizable that he is in stuff I forgot. Totally forgot he is in Albert Pyun’s Nemesis. But he is in a lot of movies. Damn heart attack took this guy way too early. Does James Hong sound familiar? Yup, David Lo Pan is in this. Michael Jeter? Yup. Emmy award-winning actor in a small but memorable role. And last, but not least, Robert Z’Dar. I could honestly write a book just about this guy. I have probably seen almost every flick he has made. Okay, I checked his filmography and I have about six I have not. But he is a B-movie god and is the Maniac Cop. That film is written by the late great Larry Cohen and also stars Bruce Campbell. Killer killer cast.
Second the director situation is kind of weird. Originally, it was directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, who is known for the Jon Voight flick Runaway Train. Huge in Russia but not in a ton of American flicks. Then they bring in Albert Magnoli and Peter MacDonald, later in the process. Rumor was to interject a bit more action into it, which is weird since Magnoli is known for Purple Rain with Prince. MacDonald was also pretty much a camera operator in the beginning of his career, but in more recent years, he is associated with the Bourne flicks, Harry Potter, Star Wars. Big, Big titles. So just a weird director shuffle that I don’t believe is officially credited to the latter two. They later bring in Stuart Baird for post production. And that guy’s resume is just unreal. Just a weird shuffle.
My favorite part of every flick… the quotes:
I don’t wanna get killed by this Limey immigrant jerkoff! I wanna get killed by an American jerkoff!
How come yours is bigger than mine?…. Genetics.
Rambo … is a pussy.
I don’t know about you, but I have an aversion to getting F.U.B.A.R.
Blowing a man’s head off with a fuckin’ hand grenade is a touch much, don’t you think?
I loved you in Conan the Barbarian.
You broke that jaw?
Just an absolute amazing flick that I watch all the time I can find to do it. But, before I go, here are a bunch of fun facts. Stallone does an homage to a Jackie Chan action sequence from Police Story, that Chan liked so much he then did an homage back of the zip line scene from this flick in Supercop. Patrick Swayze was originally going to be Cash, but dropped out. He ended up doing Roadhouse instead. Kurt Russell was also supposed to get the Martin Riggs role in Lethal Weapon but dropped out. That goes to Mel Gibson, but this role is kind of very inline with Riggs. Okay, last fact. When Stallone was writing the screenplay for The Expendables, he wrote the part of Mr. Church specifically for Kurt. But he did not want to do it. That role ended up going to Bruce Willis. Really crazy how intertwined all these actors are, and how we would have had a ton of really amazing roles going to other completely awesome actors. But Tango & Cash, this flick is great. Apple TV has it for the normal four-dollar rental. I assure you: a classic, often-skipped Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone gem.