It's a Stretch for Stallone & Russell
It maybe a cliche but sometimes less is more and directors Andrey Konchalovskiy and Albert Magnoli should have followed that advice when it comes to "Tango & Cash". You see "Tango & Cash" is a good movie, okay so it's a run of the mill 80s action flick, and as many of its jokes fail as they do work, but its main problem is that it goes on far too long. If only they had cut it down by about 20 minutes and resisted the temptation of throwing in those extra action scenes and it would have been so much better. But as it stands "Tango & Cash" is just a good, run of the mill 80s acting flick which you watch because it pairs up Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.
Ray Tango (Sylvester Stallone - Lock Up) and Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell - Overboard) are the top two narcotics cops but they seriously dislike each other. When Crime Lord Yves Perret (Jack Palance - Batman) grows tired of them ruining his business he has them set up for murder and thrown into prison. Now these two chalk n cheese cops must find a way to get along so not only can they escape before they end up being killed but also discover who it is who has gone to such great lengths to get rid of them.
Coming towards the end of the 80s "Tango & Cash" is just another cop action flick which sees 2 totally opposite cops forced to work together to try and clear their name and bring down a big criminal. Everything about it is obvious and cliche, from Tango and Cash being both opposites and rivals through to the various henchmen. Even the plot is a cliche with them thrown into prison where they come face to face with various low life's they put behind bars. And the cliche keeps on coming as they escape and then try and discover who was behind the set up. There is nothing in the least bit new about the storyline and in many ways feels like it's a remake of various other movies with a bit of this and a bit of that thrown together.
And even the styling is just as obvious as we get the comedy of these two total opposites forced to work together, winding each other up and so on and so forth. Even attempts to poke fun at the genre and movies in general with references to Rambo and Conan don't end up being that great. And as I said for every joke which works there is a joke which doesn't and there are a lot of jokes in "Tango & Cash". In fact there is probably more humour than there is action and seeing that every other scene seems to be some sort of action it says something about what this movie tries to trade on.
Sadly when it comes to the action it isn't that good either and again feels like the writers and director have trawled through other 80s action flicks for inspiration. The sad thing is that if only the number of action scenes had been cut down and each action scene made shorter then maybe it would have worked. But long before "Tango & Cash" gets close to ending you become border by it becoming just one action scene after another. And even the humour of Michael J. Pollard as Owen, a James Bond style whacky inventor supplying Tango & Cash with crazy weapons doesn't help make it any better.
What does this all mean, well "Tango & Cash" could have really stunk if it wasn't for the fact it stars Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. They both maybe playing cliches and total opposites but at least the banter between them is amusing and even some of the worst jokes end up funny because they get the timing write. Sadly the great Jack Palance ends up as back ground noise despite being the crime lord behind their arrest and whilst Brion James was probably told to deliver a terrible cockney accent as a henchman it really stinks. Ironically it is a totally pointless character which ends up being memorable and that is Teri Hatcher as Tango's sister Katherine and that is purely because she is a sexy dancer, I know it's wrong but again it says something about a movie when such a minor character ends up so memorable.
What this all boils down to is that technically "Tango & Cash" is not a good movie, and it suffers because it goes on too long, half the jokes don't work and there is little more to it than a lot of comical action. But because Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell end up making a good chalk n cheese double act it becomes entertaining, only average but still entertaining.