Wednesday, 16 February 2011
The Wild Pair
THE WILD PAIR (1987)
Directed by: Beau Bridges
Screenplay: Joseph Gunn
Starring: Bubba Smith, Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges
Thank god for the 1980s mismatched buddy cop action film. They were a dime a dozen back then and even if they were naff (and quite often they were) they were always an easy watch and pretty much guaranteed a few laughs and a bit of action. The Wild Pair features perhaps the oddest and most unlikely action cop duo in Bubba "former NFL player and star of all the Police Academy films" Smith and Beau "brother of Jeff and the other acting son of Lloyd" Bridges. That's right, in 1987 these two finally teamed up for a mismatched buddy cop action flick and make for as unlikely duo as you would find.
Bridges is an FBI agent who gets teamed up with Smith's not so by-the-book cop as they go after a militant hate group led by Beau's real life father, Lloyd Bridges. They bicker, they do things differently, they have a police Captain who shouts at them a lot, they get in a car chase, they eventually become buddies and, somehow, they end up with a tank come the final action scene where things get blown up well good. Yeah, The Wild Pair is as generic as they come and the tone wildly sways from gentle comedy to violent action, it never finding the right balance between silly fun and hard edged action. Smith and Bridges are actually quite good and share chemistry. They elicit some laughs (mainly unintentional due to Smith's insistence on wearing knee high white socks in nearly every scene!!!) and while Smith was never gonna be a great actor he's actually kind of charming and fun.
There is some pretty cool action as well. The end shootout which inexplicably somehow manages to shoehorn in a tank (!) is full of Uzi blazing action, there's a decent obligatory car chase (with obligatory cars exploding for no reason) and there is even a shootout in a porno theatre (!) where Smith rips out a row of seats to use as a shield. 80s cheese at its best. The flick also has a fairly violent vibe to it which doesn't always sit well with the comedy and cheesy action, as I guess Bridges the director was trying to bring a bit of an edge to the flick.
A silly flick for sure and something seen a billion times in the action arena but a fun slice of 80s action cinema nevertheless and worth a watch if you like these kind of movies and can hunt down a copy.