The first thing I noticed when watching this movie was the soundtrack. It's like a cross between 80s disco and the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune. It plays non-stop throughout the movie.
The second thing was how stupid Sly Stallone looks like with big bottle-end owl glasses. We first meet our hero when he is in the middle of an arrest. He is standing calmly in the middle of the road, and there are two men in a truck heading right for him. What does he do? Get out the way? No, he stands right there and shoots two bullets into the truck, somehow causing it to careen wildly off the road and come to a standstill not three feet away from where he's standing. Lucky shot, huh? Incidentally, this is the first part of the film in which 3000 police offiers show up instantly on cue. It happens more than once.
The cliches begin with the Constantly Angry Captain who chews out Tango. We soon find out this cliche is to be followed by many, many more. There is a cute in-joke where somebody says to Tango, "Who are you? Rambo?"
We move on to our second hero, Cash. He is basically Riggs from the Lethal Weapon films. He has long messy hair, a grubby old shirt and jeans, and a cheeky smile. Need I say more? Cash is admiring himself in the mirror when suddenly an assassin jumps out from behind it and shoots him. Hold on. Where exactly did this man come from? As far as I can see, the mirror is on a wall. Did the bad guys (1) Hollow out the wall, (2) Put in a 1-way mirror, and (3) Put an assassin in to wait for Cash to return home? It seems an awful lot of trouble just to kill one guy. Why not just arrange a drive-by shooting?
The assassin jumps out of a two storey window and is caught after a ridiculous car chase scene. Cash doesn't die, as, you guessed it, he is wearing a bullet-proof vest. He chooses to wait until he gets to the police station before removing the bullet. Then he says he will "question" the suspect, and we all just *know* he is going to beat a confession out of him. Guess what he does? The film treats this scene as humourous, playing light, cheerful music as Cash puts a chair on the suspect's throat and sits on it, etc. When another cop comes in, it cuts to a wide, shot and we see they are in a TOILET. Did I miss something?
We go to the bad guy's lair. We know it is a bad guy's lair as ominous music plays along with guys making about a MILLION guns on assembly lines. Our villain makes his first appearance. He had me laughing out loud. He looks like the animated Colonel from KFC adverts and seems to have some obsession with mice. He is constantly holding them and calling them "beautiful." Mouse Man tells his associates his plan, which basically makes no sense. He tells them that "quick and easy is no way to run a business." Um...it sems to me that speed and ease of operations are two factors important to businesses, but whatever. His plan is, instead of *killing* the two cops who are always screwing up his plans, he will have them arrested for murder. This made me wonder why he had already tried to have Cash killed, but never mind.
Our two heroes meet, and surprise! They don't get on! Wow, I didn't see that one coming. They stumble onto a clumsy murder and are arrested in a frankly RIDICULOUS scene, where again about 500 cops appear out of nowhere in 3 seconds flat.
Boring stuff happens, such as the court scene where they make a deal and get 18 months. For murder. In which there was overwhelming evidence against them. I love the sweet taste of justice. There is this really funny scene in which Tango mocks Cash's smirking laugh.
So, they go to prison, and as they are led to their cell it begins to RAIN paper. I mean, there is paper *everywhere*, some of which is on fire. Then there is the obligatory Sly-film Schwarzenegger joke. Some big fat guy insults Tango, who then says, "I loved you in Conan!" before smacking his head into the bars of his cell. Really well-kept prison there.
Then both guys are dragged down to some laundry room and about five million convicts start a fight with them, the highlight of which is Tango kicking some guy about ten feet into the air. A character is introduced with the WORST fake English accent I have EVER heard. Let's call him Fake English Guy.
After this, some friend of Cash's comes up with a plan to escape, which Tango, for no apparent reason, refuses. As Cash escapes, however, we cut to Tango, out of his cell, mopping the floor. WHAT? He doesn't appear to have an escort or even be under watch by guards. This has got to be the worst run prison I have ever seen, even for a movie. Later on Cash gets into trouble, and lo and behold, Tango is loose and helps him. Hmmm, I wonder how he got out.
So we jump forward a bit, and Cash has gone to a strip joint to find Tango's sister. They need to go to her place to "talk privately," but there are cops everywhere. Now comes the single funniest scene in the entire movie. Tango's sister comes out with a motorcycle helmet on. The cops hassle her, so she takes it off, then calls a girl's name. Then Cash walks out of the strip bar, wearing high heels, tights, a leather dress, a wig, lipstick, and various other female get-up. He sails by the cops unnoticed despite being (very) obviously *not* a woman. As you might have expected, one of the male cops makes a pass at him. They all meet up at Tango's place, and we have some cheesy brotherly and sisterly bonding.
Some time after this, they find Fake English Guy. They are trying to avoid attention, what with being criminals on the run and all, so they dangle him over a building and shout loudly. In a badly acted "good cop, bad cop" scene, they get information from him and throw a fake grenade at him. Neither of them mention where they got this from.
So, they go in search of Mouse Man. They take the subtle approach by ramming through one of the walls in an RV with guns and armor and stuff on it, which immediately sets off all the alarms. Smart move, guys. This doesn't actually matter though as in the following fight/car chase they kill about a dozen guys and sustain no injuries whatsoever.
Mouse Man shows off his grammatical skills: "Get those son of a b*tches."
Then we get the cliche of the kidnapped sister/girlfriend by Fake English Guy. Oh, and also there is a bomb for no real reason. In the ensuing fight, some guy fly-kicks Tango and his amazing defense is...what? To launch his own counter fly-kick? To pull off some cool blocking move? No, he simply stands to the side and lets the guy go flying into a glass bookcase. Fake English Guy gets blown up for real this time, but the sister gets captured by ANOTHER person right after they save her. I wonder why they bother. In a fantastic anticlimax, they kill the Mouse Man and run outside, with injuries, in 20 seconds, all before the bomb explodes.