"Rambo is A pussy!"
In the 80s, Action movies had a few basic types of movies. The 'Buddy Cop' Action movie ("Lethal Weapon"), The Sci-Fi Action Movie ("Predator"), the Military-Infused Action movie ("Rambo: First Blood pt. 2), to name a few. The nice thing about "Tango and Cash" is that while it clearly exhibits multiple 80s Action movie cliches, it doesn't really fit into any one particular category; the closest obviously being "Buddy Cop". There is a somewhat self-referential humor thing going on here with mentions of both Rambo and Conan and it's fun to see Stallone play the more straight-laced cop of the two. The plot is nothing new by today's standards and by 1989 I'm sure it had been done a few times as well, but it's still a fun ride. Stallone is no. 1 cop Ray Tango from the West side of the city (or is it East? I don't think it matters...) and Russell is Gabriel Cash from the other side of the city. Cash is reckless but not as crazy as Gibson in "Lethal Weapon" and Tango is almost preppy with his meticulous wardrobe but both are good at getting the job done. The job, in this case, is busting up multiple drug and weapons rackets and in doing so have made themselves celebrities and heroes albeit separately. The bad guy, some sort of mobster I'm guessing, is played deliciously by Jack Palance. Palance here is pretty much the same character he played the year before in Tim Burton's "Batman". Palance and his cronies frame Tango and Cash for the murder of a Federal official. They both go to prison where half the inmates were put there by them and as you can imagine, things don't go so well for them in this corrupt institution. The rest is typical 80s stuff: Tango and Cash escape prison, get a bunch of guns that magically hit their targets EVERY TIME, and set out to clear their names.
If you're a fan of this sort of thing, then you'll love it. You have to know what you're in for when you sit down with ANY 80s Action movie. "Gone With The Wind" its not, but it's not trying to be, so why judge it by the same standards? Russell is the better actor here but Stallone holds his own. Teri Hatcher also stars as Stallone's sister and is candy for the eyes but that's about the only thing she brings to the table. A fun but slightly off kilter cop movie that moves along at nice steady pace. I liked it. 3/5 -andy
While I wont be so generous with the rating, I have to agree with Andy, it is what it is, which is an 80s popcorn action movie. It is nothing special and nothing original, but I like these two actors because they play off each other so well. You cant help but not to like these two characters. You also got a feeling that everyone in this movie had a fun time making it, including Palance as the devilish villian. It is your average run of the mill buddy-cop or anti-buddy-cop movie. If your a fan of Stallone or Russell you should see it.2.5/5- tom