[Gabe Liedman is a stand-up comedian. In his new column, he takes on the genre of Dude Flicks, where guns, pecs, car crashes and glib one-liners delivered in front of a burning building with only half a t-shirt on and nothing left to lose reign supreme. He loves those movies for so many reasons, all of which are that they turn him ON.]
Where to begin with this movie? It is excellent? It’s an action-comedy of exceptionally high quality in both genres? The jokes are funny, the action is exciting and fantastic? It’s a “typical” buddy-flick spiked with an opposites-attract/different-sides-of-the-tracks liqueur that so many other movies like it get wrong as fuck? But this one doesn’t, hence “typical” in quotes? It more-than lives up to its potential on the Boner Scale? Even Sylevester Stallone, punch drunk and juiced to the point of slurred speech, sporting an F-cup bro that would make Coco T feel like a prepubescent Veda Sultenfuss by comparison, is as dashing in his Armani suits as he is in a torn and bloody wifebeater? That Kurt Russell is a vision of ‘80’s butch, the wet dream of Aunt Jackie from Roseanne, blue-eyed and ripped-in-a-normal-but-highly-gym’d-just-not-chemically-enhanced-probably way, hidden beneath a sometimes-wet, sometimes-dry Blance Devereaux glamour mullet? That there is an extended Teri-Hatcher-as-Sheila-E drum-burlesque-number for
no EVERY reason? Everyone else has probably already seen this movie a million times, but for those of you who secretly haven’t: it’s on Netflix streaming right now. So, rate it 5 stars, push play (in that order), then sit back with a bottle of rum and a gallon of egg nog per person in the room. By the end you’ll be making Oscars out of your toiletries and throwing them at the TV with delight. Guaranteed.
The movie opens on Tango, Sly Stallone as a Beverly Hills stockbroker who is also a maaaaajor cop (but just for the thrills, not the MUCHO MONEY BUCKS like most cops), pulling off a monster cocaine bust single-handedly. Or, rather, single-handgun-ded-ly? Basically, he chases down a huge gas truck on some highway, shoots at the drivers ‘til they crash and fly out the windshield, then he shoots the gas truck and you’re like “OH NO IT’S GOING TO EXPLOSION NOW” but then it doesn’t and so much cocaine falls out of it. Classic. More classic: right before he shoots the cocaine truck, he says “Rambo’s a pussy.” Fuckin’ right he is.
Then we meet Cash, who’s also a famous cop in LA, but unlike the Beverly Hills 90210 beat that Tango’s on, Cash is an Eastsider—a real Silverlake hipster queer—and when he’s not waiting in line for free wi-fi and a place to park his pitbull mix at Intelligentsia (can you tell I haven’t been to LA for almost a year?), he’s also making huge drug busts. He and Tango are both on the front page of the newspaper today! Tango & Cash Courier Times Herald! But then OH NO there’s an Asian assassin hiding in his apartment who tries to kill him but then Cash tries to kill him back and the Asian guy jumps out the window. Typical. Cash chases him all the way to some mall parking lot, where they have a car chase shoot-out which results in tons of damage, plus some lady flashes her tits. Rated R! She’s up for a Golden Globe this year prrrobz.
Then we see the men at work: Tango wears a very ‘80’s, super-sexy suit to work, and when he’s not e-trading on his landline, he has a conversation with a very young, very done-up Teri Hatcher, who wants to go on a “dance tour” to get away from him. They kind of seem like BF/GF, but with no chemistry, but then a couple hours later it turns out their Sister/Sister, spoiler alert? Cash is also at work, where NO DUH he instantly takes off his shirt (a tastefully baggy sage-green cotton henley soaked in str8-up man-musk), then fiddles with his gun a little bit and is like “hey there’s something wrong with my gun?” and then goes to the bathroom where that Asian assassin is busy taking a post-murder-attempt pissola. Cash takes the opportunity to strangle the guy with a chair in the middle of the bathroom.
The assassin tells him about some major drug deal going down tonight; then Tango finds out about the drug deal too. But, then, that night, when they show up to bust some drug-assholes, they don’t find anyone there except each other! They exchange some words, almost kill each other, and then Tango holds his gun right up against Cash’s dick. H.O.T.
Then we figure out (through being told) that this whole “drug bust” bullshit was a prank on Tango and Cash—they’re getting set up for supposedly killing an undercover cop! The person framing them is none other than Jack Palance from City Slickers who, even 174 years ago when this movie was made, still had insanely clunky George Washington dentures. Also, he explains his big plan to get LA’s biggest
dicked cops off the street and behind bars for a crime they never committed using mice as demonstration tools. Weird.
So Tango and Cash get arrested and put on trial for fake-killing that undercover cop, and they make a deal with the prosecutors to say they’re guilty so they can go to a chic, minimum security jail for non-criminals. But, suddenly they find themselves in a majorly rough maximum security slammer, where they get naked and take a shower together, taking the opportunity to admire and describe each other’s cock ‘n balls.
Tango thinks Cash has a lopsided sack; Cash alternates between calling Tango “Peewee” and “Tripod,” which I can only assume is due to erratic jail-shower temperature controls, and clearly he’s somewhere in between.
All the inmates in Intense-O State Penitentiary know Tango and Cash and fucking h8 their gutz. Cash’s cell-boyfriend is humongous and won’t let him use the toilet; Tango’s is Clint Howard (bottom central (yuck, forget it)). Jail bullies wake Tango and Cash up in the middle of the night and throw them down the laundry chute, where they land in the middle of a scary bully convention. A massive hand-to-hand riot follows, and then Tango and Cash get tied up, strung from the ceiling, and electrocuted Abu Ghraib style.
They get rescued by an assistant warden, who knows Cash from the past. He’s going to help them escape from jail!
Tango’s scared to escape from jail, so Cash starts off solo; but, then, he almost dies, and then Tango is suddenly there to rescue him, and they escape through the electricity system in the jail which is really scary because last night they got so electrocuted!
One of the main Jail Bullies almost catches up with Tango but then that dude fffries.
Once they’re out of jail, they pretty much have 24 hours to clear their names and prove they didn’t kill that undercover cop they admitted to killing under oath. The highlight of this segment is when Cash discovers Teri Hatcher’s dance-club and watches her do her gorgeous and PERFECT thang.
Then she helps him evade some cop-pigs by putting him in str8-up To Wong Foo drag.
Basically, they figure the whole shit out and storm Jack Palance’s fortress in a major van outfitted with cray-cray guns and cannons and shit. It’s banay-nays.
They clear their names, or at least blow up the people who besmirched them, and then the movie ends the only way this movie could end—with a massive high 5 made of pure Kobe beef palms that echoes from Beverly Hills to Silverlake and beyond.
This movie is so fucking gr8, I can’t even tell you. Even though I kind of just did, or at least tried. It has absolutely everything: male and female nudity, humongous explosions, a semi-interesting “mystery,” funny jokes, and three of Hollywood’s finest at the peak of their careers (Jack Palance and both mice (jkjkjk)).
We’re gonna need more rum for all this egg nog I’m making! Goodbye!