Any Which Way You Can (1980) starring Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, William Smith, Harry Guardino, Ruth Gordon, Michael Cavanaugh, Barry Corbin directed by Buddy Van Horn Movie Review

Any Which Way You Can (1980)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Clint Eastwood as Philo Beddoe in Any Which Way You Can

A Right Turn but a Wrong Turn

When I reviewed "Every Which Way But Loose" I said that technically it wasn't a very good movie and I still stand by that, I will also stand by when I say that "Any Which Way You Can" is technically not a good movie either. But like its predecessor "Any Which Way You Can" ends up entertaining because of Clint Eastwood having fun messing about with Clyde. In fact you could say that if anyone else had made these movies they would probably have been ripped to pieces but because it is Eastwood you sort of let the issues slide.

Having fought his last fight Philo (Clint Eastwood - Escape from Alcatraz) has no plans to go back to bare knuckle boxing but it is amazing what a guy will do for $25,000 and that is what the Mafia offer him to fight there man Jack Wilson (William Smith). But having accepted the fight and a 10k advance Philo finds himself persuaded by Orville (Geoffrey Lewis) and Lynn (Sondra Locke - Bronco Billy) to cancel the fight and hand the money back, except the Mafia won't take no for an answer and make sure that Philo shows up to fight.

William Smith and Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can

To put it simply "Any Which Way You Can" is about 3 things story, humour and Eastwood with story ending up the least important. And the reason I say that is because here we have a movie a few minutes short of 2 hours yet the entire story consists of whether Philo will end up fighting Mafia fighter Wilson. There are twists with romantic issues between Philo and Lynn as well as the Mafia getting heavy when Philo tries to pull out but it is a slim storyline. Is it enough? well almost because it does sort of fill the second half of the movie but rarely shows up in the first half.

What that means is that the first half is predominantly focused on the humour of Philo, Orville and Clyde's antics be it dealing with the black widow bikers again or Clyde scrapping a car. It is all good fun especially when yet again the Black Widows end up coming worse off in a nasty hot tar incident but it does make the first half feel drawn out and like it's not going anywhere. In fact whilst elements of the story are set up it does seem to be going around in circles as it tries to deliver some of the humour of the first movie again.

But the thing about "Any Which Way You Can" is that you end up not minding that it has some very obvious issues because it is a Clint Eastwood movie a laid back Clint Eastwood movie. Eastwood has fun, acts tough, has an eye for a pretty woman as well as Sondra Locke and has great chemistry with the Orang-utan who plays Clyde, a different one to the first movie. And that is it with Geoffrey Lewis, Sondra Locke as well as William Smith also delivering some humour in their supporting roles.

What this all boils down to is that "Any Which Way You Can" is basically "Every Which Way But Loose" with a slightly different story. And as such it is again a flawed movie but entertaining because it is a Clint Eastwood movie.

Tags: Boxing Movies