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Tango & Cash(1989)
Ray Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and Gabe Cash (Kurt Russell) are rival L.A. policemen with one thing in common: each thinks he is the best. Team them and theyre like oil and water. But frame them for a crime and theyre like a match and kerosene. Unjustly jailed among lowlifes they put behind bars, the two stage a prison breakout thats a breathless rush of weapons and wisecracks then roar after the shadowy crimelord (Jack Palance) who set them up. Tango & Cash are out to clear their names. Join them and feel the rush.
For more about Tango & Cash and the Tango & Cash Blu-ray release, see Tango & Cash Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 12, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Writer: Randy Feldman
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher, Jack Palance, Brion James (I), James Hong
» See full cast & crew
Tango & Cash Blu-ray Review
An excellent Buddy Cop movie earns a solid technical release from Warner.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 12, 2010
If it isn't Tango it's Cash. Tango, Cash, Cash, and Tango...these two cops are driving me crazy.
No other decade can boast of such a strong roster of notable Action films as the 1980s. While not all were on the same level as Die Hard or Predator, what the decade sometimes lacked in sheer quality it made up for in quantity, and even some of the lesser films -- such as those starring Dolph Lundgren -- offered plenty of big, brainless fun even in the absence of superior technical know-how, strong scripts, or fine acting. Arriving in theaters at the tail end of the ten-year span was the Sylvester Stallone (Cliffhanger) and Kurt Russell (Poseidon) Buddy Cop flick Tango & Cash, one of the decade's most purely entertaining, wittily scripted, and deliciously acted flicks and one that's withstood the test of time as a prime example of the fun, highly charged, and over-the-top movies the defined an era of Action that remains the genre's quintessential timespan.
Los Angeles Police Detectives Ray Tango (Stallone) and Gabriel Cash (Russell) are two of the city's finest -- and two of her most diverse. The Armani-wearing Tango and the boots-and-jeans Cash compete for publicity on the top fold of the local paper's front page and both prove a painful thorn in the side of drug kingpin Yves Perret (Jack Palance, Batman). Angered at the latest bust, Perret sets in motion a scheme to frame Tango and Cash for murder. The plan is a success, and the decorated cops find themselves disgraced and behind bars, and in a maximum-security hellhole of a prison to boot, far from the minimum-security paradise they were promised, no thanks to Perret's seemingly unending connections. With the city's drug problem about to get a whole lot worse and her two top cops locked up and left for dead, Tango and Cash are left with no alternative but to execute a daring prison escape and fight on the outside as fugitives in hopes of clearing their names and taking down Perret before it's too late.
Viewers hoping for a deep plot, highly-developed characters, an Oscar-caliber script, and high drama need look elsewhere, but for audiences simply in search of a well-made and clever Action movie that's, yes, completely over-the-top but still nothing but fun from start to finish, Tango & Cash fits the bill perfectly. Nevertheless and amazingly enough, Tango & Cash does indeed sport a decent plot, substantial characterization, and a pretty good script, at least when analyzed from a detached perspective and within the confines of Action movies only. The film is infinitely witty, the action loud and bold, the characters nicely rounded out and engagingly acted, and the plot basic but more than adequate to allow for big explosions, chase scenes, gunfire, and plenty of humorous banter between two cops who are drastically different in style but not in purpose or effectiveness. One unique aspect of Tango & Cash that's evident now but not necessarily at the time of its release comes by way of the film's ability to sustain a fresh and viable tone. Even 20 years later and unlike most 1980s movies, Tango & Cash barely looks or feels its age. There are plenty of hints, from the beat of Harold Faltermeyer 's exceptional tone-capturing score to grotesquely large surveillance cameras and pistol laser sights, but other than earning the props -- and not the film -- a few hearty chuckles, the aged technology and decade-influenced score never once hurt the picture's watchability long after the fact, with the latter still representing one of the finer Action movie scores of the 1980s.
Indeed, it is both the film's ability to play things completely over-the-top but retain an edge of seriousness to the proceedings, as well as the fabulous chemistry between leads Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, that make -- and have kept -- Tango & Cash one of the better Action films to come out of the 1980s. Finely-tuned humor abounds not necessarily from the suit-and-tie versus jeans-and-boots personality clash, but instead from a good script that provides both actors an abundance of subtle but wonderfully effective and memorable one-liners, retorts, and general sight and verbal gags that are always welcome and never once too outrageous or otherwise inappropriate within the established parameters of the film and, in a broader context, 1980s Action movie style. Stallone and Russell turn in exemplary performances, again within the context of the style of film and expected level of excellence. They're a natural pairing, and veteran Jack Palance, too, is perfectly cast as the film's wealthy, bitter, and cunning villain. These performances -- and even those of secondary and tertiary actors -- are in some ways well over-the-top, but each actor integrates seamlessly into the picture's inviting and fun tone that doesn't hinder the excitement and heavy-duty action that plays perfectly with the offbeat humor and wit.
Tango & Cash Blu-ray, Video Quality
Tango & Cash pairs up with Blu-ray and delivers a surprisingly healthy 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer. Despite the picture's fairly vanilla feel -- there's no splash of excess color, exemplary set design, or awe-inspiring locales -- Warner's 1080p transfer seems faithful to the source and does about all it can with what it has to work with, and the results are sure to please viewers with long-in-the-tooth and well-worn standard-definition copies of the film. Blacks can be a bit overpowering, but not excessively so, and generally retain a pleasing, inky appearance. Colors, too, are stable and natural, not exactly vibrant but otherwise seemingly true-to-the-source. Fine detail won't wow longtime Blu-ray high definition viewers, either, but most every scene offers suitably pleasing textures and even some minute detailing that, along with a nicely sharp and well-defined image, proves the finest upgrade over previous home video versions. In fact, only a few shots -- generally of faces -- appear excessively or unnaturally sharp, and even more rare are shots that appear too soft. Only a few random and miniscule artifacts plague the transfer, and it retains a natural film grain pattern that rounds out a very strong catalogue release from Warner Brothers.
Tango & Cash Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Tango & Cash's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack isn't quite as impressive as its 1080p picture counterpart, but it gets the job done without any egregious problems. The primary flaw -- and seemingly inherent to the source -- is a soundtrack that's simply not all that engaging. Not at all aggressive or robust even at reference volume, this lossless mix plods along well enough but never once engages listeners in the same way better, top-flight soundtracks can. Dialogue is generally clear and intelligible but sometimes a bit sloppy and muddled. Ambient effects are often limited to the front portion of the soundstage; Tango and Cash's arrival at prison is met with unruly inmates that scream and throw debris at the heroes, but the sound remains tightly focused across the front with little in the way of a discernible surround presentation, leaving the listener unconvinced of the environment and detached from the scene. Still, the surround channels do enjoy a few scattered moments of more pronounced activity, particularly during a heavy downpour that accompanies the duo's escape attempt. Overall, listeners will find this track satisfactory but by no means engaging or memorable.
Tango & Cash Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
This Blu-ray release of Tango & Cash contains only the film's theatrical trailer (480p, 1:22).
Tango & Cash Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Tango & Cash is an exciting, well-made, and nicely-acted thrill ride that's one of the 1980s most notable Action/Buddy Cop films. Enjoying an exemplary sense of humor that's the perfect compliment to the picture's high-energy action scenes, amazing chemistry between its leads, and a superb score that's light and catchy but also a fine compliment to the bullets and explosions, Tango & Cash retains every bit of its appeal with each viewing, and for the most part, refuses to acknowledge its age with the passage of time. Warner Brothers' Blu-ray release is just fine where it counts, but the disc is a total disappointment in the nearly complete absence of extra content. Nevertheless, the film has never looked or sounded so good for home consumption, and fans will be more than satisfied with the upgrade presented over the standard definition DVD. Recommended for fans.
Tango & Cash: Other Editions
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