So I'm sitting at home, watching TV. I'm flicking past channel after channel of crap, idly hoping against hope that I'll find something watchable, but not really expecting to. And then I see an image of a be-mulleted Kurt Russell standing next to Sylvester Stallone, who's looking uncomfortable in a pair of serious glasses, and I know the rest of my evening got booked solid.
And I don't know why.
As I settle back into my sofa, and cram another slice of pizza into my mouth, I wonder, not for the first time: why the hell do I like Tango And Cash?
I mean, I'm an intelligent guy
Yeah, I know I'm smart: I've got a meaningless degree in a useless subject; I know how to calculate the volume of a cone without having to look it up; I even covered Film Studies as part of my degree course. So why in the hell do I like this witless, dated, not-even-original-when-it-came-out, chemistry-free buddy action movie? What the fuck is there to like about it?
I guess the "guy" part of that statement may form part of the answer. After all, the thing reads like they just worked through a check-list of guy stuff. Let's see, there's big guns, fights, a totally gratuitous scene involving female semi-nudity (set in a strip club), even bigger guns, the unspoken love story that is "male bonding" - they even have a "whose dick's bigger?" contest in the prison shower, for fuck's sake. There's explosions, car chases, and eeeevil foreign baddies. They may as well have called it "Testosterone: The Movie" and had done with it. Any girl who likes this has to be a dyke, I guarantee it. So maybe that's a factor. But that can't be it, right?
I know my films
| Why? |
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I'm a film geek. I've seen thousands of movies. I can spell "Nouvelle Vague" and I know what it means; I've marvelled at Ingmar Bergman films; I've spotted subtexts in films so subtexty that even the screenwriter, the director, the actors and the cinematographer didn't know they were there; I've found redeeming qualities in experimental films of leaf skeletons sandwiched between strips of film, for fuck's sake! Why do I enjoy this exercise in vacuity?
What kind of deep statement is made to the world by lines like "Freeze! Drop that duck!" beyond "we couldn't afford a decent screenwriter"? And why does that line still make me chuckle when I hear it? Why can't I drown out the 14-year-old boy inside of me who's shouting "cool! Now they're shooting guns bigger than their bodies at fuckin' great industrial machinery! This is so totally awesome!"?
I don't like any of the actors
Stallone sucks in everything but the first couple of Rocky films. And maybe First Blood. Russell only does good stuff when he works with John Carpenter. I know these things as well as I know every single THX-1138 based in-joke in George Lucas's oeuvre. And I can use a word like "Oeuvre" in cold blood, by the way.
Jack Palance I don't mind, I admit, but he's hamming it up so badly in this that he's in danger of making Rob Schneider look subtle. There's a bad guy who's supposed to be English in it as well, but whose accent is so bad it makes Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins sound like Alec fucking Guinness.
And I've never found Teri Hatcher hot. She just isn't. I'd rather nail Terry Gilliam. And she's the love interest - this film should have no chance. So why am I never able to flick past it? Why have I seen it more times than anything by Kurosawa? Why in the name of fuck do I like this film?
It's utterly preposterous
Kurt Russell cross-dresses to evade the cops. And they get taken in. For. Fuck's. Sake.
And just two super cops are bringing this city-wide drugs, crime and weaponry syndicate to its knees - and if they get taken out, no-one else on the force will give a fuck, or do anything about it? Seriously? You can pick holes in this crap for fun! But instead, after 5 minutes, you just give up, accept the "plot" as a lame excuse to blow more shit up, and wait for another fight scene - they're not that far apart, so you never have to engage your brain again in between times.
And the ending? So Kurt Russell works with this guy who's, like, Q's demented younger brother or something? And he gives them a minivan with a minigun on the side? That doesn't fall over despite looking ludicrously unstable? Holy fuckballs, who comes up with this shit? And why is it even slightly entertaining me? How in the name of the great Krzysztof Kieślowski can I not turn this vapid, gung-ho banality off? And why did I just turn the volume up?
It's only on for another 20 minutes
Ah man, as Kurt 'n' Sly grab even bigger guns and run into the heart of the bad guys' lair, two men against dozens, I guess I'll never understand why it is that I enjoy this big, fat, dumbass action movie. At least my friends don't know - I don't think I could handle the shame of the film club knowing I willingly sit through this tripe, let alone cheer at the high-five at the end. Still, at least I don't own the DVD or anything.
Although I bet it's really cheap on Play.com.
Ah fuck, I'm going to buy it, aren't I?