TANGO & CASH, originally entitled "The Set-Up," had more that its share of production problems, including running $20 million over budget.
A star dropped out early on and his role had to to be recast. Russian-born theater and film director Andrey Konchalovskiy was replaced by Albert Magnoli very near completion because of artistic differences with producer Jon Peters. Andrey, who previously directed RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985), DUET FOR ONE [VHS] (1986) and SHY PEOPLE [VHS] (1987), wanted a "dark" film.
Director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld got sacked for not lighting Sly Stallone to the actor's satisfaction. Stuart Baird was called on for re-cuts when Warner's was displeased with the finished movie. For all these adjustments, "Tango & Cash" is still a buddy cop comedy of only middling quality.
Here, Stallone's sophisticated Raymond Tango competes with grungy Gabriel Cash (Russell) for drug busts and news copy. Baddie Palance (in his best "Believe It Or Not" persona) finds a way to get both cops thrown into the jail from perdition, but not before Kurt goes "drag," and Sly frets neurotically over falling stock values and some rising heat between his sister (Hatcher) and Lt. Cash. Pollard is the nerd who supplies T&C with an armed-to-the-roof tank-skinned monster SUV.
Some tepid humor arises from Tango's confusion over Cash's sexuality and with their running gag of macho "I'm a better cop than you" banter.
Originally slated for Kurt Russell's role, Patrick Swayze got his chance to wear high heels in TO WONG FOO THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR (1995). Patti Davis, Ron and Nancy Reagan's daughter, cameos here as a reporter. Ron Howard's kid brother Clint plays an obnoxious cellmate who quickly gets squelched.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(6.1) Tango & Cash (1989) - Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell/Teri Hatcher/Jack Palance/Brion James/James Hong/Michael J. Pollard/Lewis Arquette/Michael Jeter/Clint Howard/Patti Davis