Film / Tango & Cash

Tango and Cash is a 1989 Andrei Konchalovsky action-comedy starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

The story centers on two rival Los Angeles policemen: dapper, straitlaced cop "Ray" Tango (Stallone), and aggressive, rough-around-the-edges cop "Gabe" Cash (Russell), and their attempts to outdo each other. But when an arch-enemy of theirs, drug lord Yves Perret (Jack Palance), decides to even the score and frames them for murder, Tango and Cash suddenly find themselves among the same prisoners they had put away themselves. It doesn't take long before they realize they're going to have to put aside their differences and work together in order to get even with Perret and clear their names, even if it ends up killing them.

This film contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Tango's use of innuendo puts him in this category. It's never confirmed or denied.
  • Armed Legs: Cash's derringer-concealing boots, which fire right out of the boot's heel (or as Tango decides to deride them, "bazooka-boots").
  • Badass Boast: When a character claims that Tango "thinks he's Rambo," Tango replies that "Rambo is a pussy." He stops just short of prefacing it with "compared to me."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Tango all the way. He is even called on that by his commander.
  • Biggus Dickus: Inverted Trope: Tango makes several jokes throughout the movie about the fact Cash's penis is smaller than his own (which they discover in the prison showers) (the gag would be played straight with Tango).
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Requin" is French for "Shark".
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Requin wets himself when Tango tapes a grenade to his mouth during an interrogation.
  • Buddy Cop Show: The main characters are two rival cops who are both known as the best in the city and are rivals forced to work together to clear their names.
  • Bungling Inventor: Owen. His Establishing Character Moment includes a number of absurd devices that he is developing for LAPD or civilian use and are to be used for self-defense... some of which backfire hilariously.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Cash's backup weapon is used to frame him.
  • Clear My Name: Both main characters are framed for murder and sent to prison. The main plot involves them clearing their names.
  • *Click* Hello: Done twice in one scene where Cash is investigating Requin's house. Requin gets the drop on Cash, but immediately after Requin utters a one-liner, Tango gets the drop on him.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Cash, particularly the manner in which he dispatches The Dragon.
  • Cool Car: A fashionably-militarized 1988 Chevrolet Silverado 2500.
    Cash: Do you have any idea of what we're working with here?! This is a violent work of art!
    Tango: And who owns the pink slip? Satan?
  • Cool Guns: Cash's revolver with laser sight.
  • Cowboy Cop: Tango and Cash are this-Tango just rocks a fine suit while doing it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cash. Tango has his moments as well, most of them aimed at Cash (look up on Cool Car for an example. He later shoots one last dig at the fact that Owen was the inventor of Cash's "bazooka-boots").
  • Disguised in Drag: Cash, when he gets away from the strip club that Katherine works in with Katherine in tow. The cops don't look close enough (even when they are at point-blank range), mistaking Katherine and Cash for a pair of Butch Lesbians.
  • The Dragon: Requin. Aside from using Katherine as a Human Shield at the end, Perret is a Non-Action Big Bad.
  • Fanservice: Despite heavily targeting a male demographic, seeing the backsides of Stallone and Russell in the shower scene likely helped many a girlfriend sit through this film. Meanwhile, plenty of Fanservice is also provided for the male viewers, mainly in the form of several topless women and Teri Hatcher doing a strip dance in front of a giant fan (she's a stripper and her bar has some high-quality routines... It Makes Sense in Context).
  • '80s Hair: A massive afro-like mullet worn by Katherine, as played by Teri Hatcher.
  • Fun with Acronyms: F.U.B.A.R.: F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition.
  • Glory Hound: Tango initially pegs Cash as this.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Invoked with much relish by Tango and Cash while interrogating Requin, though they like to call it "Bad Cop, Worse Cop." The "worse cop" part involves a grenade duct-taped to Requin's mouth, by the way.
  • Great Escape: The second act ends with Tango and Cash leaving the Hellhole Prison that they were thrown in order to Clear Their Names.
  • Groin Attack: In this case, Cash killing Requin by shoving a live grenade down his pants.
  • Hidden Wire: Placed on the man Tango and Cash are framed for killing. But the wire isn't used to incriminate them, but to explain the origins of the tape with an incriminating recording of them that had been constructed from numerous real recordings of their voices.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Used by Tango and Cash, though the victim is unfazed and even taunts them to let go.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Cash has a gun built into his boot, with the barrel in the heel, causing him to take an unusual stance when firing. It comes in handy whenever he is knocked off his feet and needs to get counterattack quickly.
  • Improvised Zipline: How they escape prison, using their belts and the prison's electrical cables.
  • Innocent Innuendo: The back massage scene (Cash and Katherine are working on putting one of Cash's shoulder plates back into place. The excited, pleased sounds and talking about how "I can feel it's almost in!" don't really make Tango any comfortable).
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Tango's interrogation of the sound technician who testified in court against them (and who was also the one who manufactured the incriminating fake audio tape) takes it Up to Eleven via Tango demolishing the sound tech's equipment with a shotgun and threatening to shoot said tech's head off with it.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Cash sitting in a chair on the throat of a suspect, despite him having already asked for an attorney.
  • Large Ham: Perret, played with much gusto by Jack Palance. He sees the Storming the Castle Car Chase on his office's screens and cheers for his henchmen like he was watching the Super Bowl!
  • Laser Sight: Cash has a preference for them (and it being technology from The '80s, the laser sights are almost as big as the handguns thy are attached to!).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tango's sister, Katherine (played by Teri Hatcher).
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Tango's, see above.
    Cash: Look, all I'm saying is that I'm not going to approach her unless you give me your blessing.
    Tango (with which he has been talking to before Storming the Castle, and the banter has been pretty much a pre-emptive It Has Been an Honor just in case): In that case... never.
  • Odd Couple: Interestingly, both members of the couple are examples of the Cowboy Cop. It's just that looks-wise they are almost Slobs Vs Snobs.
  • One-Liner: Maybe the most one liner-ridden script ever written.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Requin has probably the worst Cockney accent this side of Dick Van Dyke.
  • Sexophone: Played for Laughs during Cash's "drag scene".
  • Sharp Dressed Man: Cash refers to Tango as "Armani with a badge".
  • Shower Scene: Complete with Slippery Soap gag.
  • Teeny Weenie: During the aforementioned shower scene, Cash takes a glance down below and calls Tango "Pee-Wee". Later, when the two pick up guns for battle, Tango notices he has the smaller gun. He asks, "Why's yours so much bigger than mine?" and Cash replies, "Genetics, Pee-Wee."