Tango & Cash (1989) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Comedy
Warner Brothers || R - 104 minutes - $28.99 || April 7, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-04-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
Writer(s): Randy Feldman (written by)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Jack Palance, Teri Hatcher


Theatrical Release Date: December 22, 1989


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish

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.::THE FILM::.

ďTwo of L.A.ís top rival cops are going to have to work together... even if it kills them.Ē

Thatís really all you have to know about Tango & Cash, the 1989 buddy-cop movie starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. Actually, the first 40-minutes or so of the film werenít all that bad. It had a good mixture of comedy and thrills, not unlike Lethal Weapon, though on a far lesser level. But as the movie wore on with little purpose other than some dodgy dialogue, it never really found much of a groove or even male chemistry between the buddies.

Filmed in 1989 probably to cash in Lethal Weaponís success, Tango & Cash is a very simple story with a laughably Ė and surprisingly Ė informidable bad guy played by Jack Palance in what is just a weak rehash of his character in Batman released the same year. And really, this character sums up the entire movie: itís a weak plot designed to take advantage of the buddy-cop action-comedy and only did a half-assed job when everything was said and done.

I know Sylvester Stallone isnít the most talented actor around but when he gets a good script and an irresistible character (Rocky, Cop Land), he can do wonders, but when the script fails and ho-hum action sequences, well, the flaws are apparent. This goes for Kurt Russell as well. Neither are spared from some utterly ridiculous one-liners that rarely hit the mark that make both of these classic actors look like amateurs.

So, when you discard a poor script, by Randy Feldman who would later go on to write Metro, youíre left with uninspiring and oft sloppy direction from Andrei Konchalovsky (Runaway Train). Now, the filmís problems could be in part due to the directorís removal with Albert Magnoli (Purple Rain) taking the reins. Then you add in the apparent firing of director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld by Stallone as well as some editing by Stuart Baird (Casino Royale), I guess it shouldnít be a surprise that the film was a mess.

And with a reportedly $55 million budget (~$94.3m today), that is a pretty mighty amount of money for Warner Brothers to bare on what was supposed to be a quick cash grab on a new (theatrical) genre.

Like I said, the first half of Tango & Cash is pretty good but falls apart as the third act approaches to its mediocre finale that looks more like some poor-manís James Bond movie (with a tricked out SUV including side-mounted ratling gun and video monitor). Listen, parts of the movie are fun (prison escape was great) and even though I never saw that Gibson/Glover bond that made Lethal Weapon such a classic, this is still at least a half-decent 1980s action movie.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only feature included is the filmís theatrical trailer, but it is presented in widescreen!



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Tango & Cash is presented on a BD-25 disc and VC-1 codec. The 1080p high-definition transfer isnít anything amazing with a good amount of noise throughout, as expected for a now 20-year old flick, and some spots are soft. The film is presented with a 2.40 original aspect ratio.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track (again, make sure to select this option as it defaults on Dolby Digital 5.1) that I guess is OK for its age but nothing to get excited about. The subwoofer did get some use and the side speakers also had some sound but overall it is a fairly underwhelming experience.



.::OVERALL::.

The way I approach older catalogue titles such as this is that if you donít already own it on DVD, then it may be worth investing the $10-15 on Blu-ray (and in some instances avoid the craptacular snapper DVD cases). The picture and audio quality are not that great and itís uber-disappointing that Warner chose not to include any features outside of the trailer so take that into consideration with a title like this.

Iím unsure how much repeat value Tango & Cash has for me. As I said, there are parts that are truly fun but there are absolutely torturous moments of one-liners, bad acting, thin plot and sloppy direction. It was a film for the 1980s and while that other 1980s buddy-cop movie remains a classic, this does not. It is entertaining for what it is, but donít go in expecting that much.