TANGO & CASH (1989):
Late-80s buddy-cop movie. the buddy-cop movie is an easily modifiable formula: team up x and y character archetypes in i city, have them join forces due to j circumstances to go to war against a crime lord. I don't know where the line between a trope and a narrative device is, but it's telling that I haven't seen a buddy-cop movie since Lethal Weapon that isn't steeped in self-parody.
tango & cash doesn't do anything new, but what it does is entertaining and earnest. the violence is gratuitous, the hunks are musclebound and the cracking is wise. the silliness of sylvester stallone as a genius (but also extremely buff) yuppie cop in an Armani suit and oversized round-frame glasses is balanced by kurt russell playing to type as a gung-ho, muscle-shirted urban cowboy. most importantly, the jokes land and the action is satisfying.
FOR FANS OF: musclebound hunks, platonic hetero male friendship, that thing where you watch an old movie and there's a scene that you recognize as a cultural touchstone/trope even though you never knew what it was from
DEADLIEST NATURAL HAZARD: electricity
DEMOLITION MAN (1993)
while Tango & Cash was a straight action movie that capitalized on its own silliness for humor, Demolition Man is a true parody of '80s action and sci-fi. Stallone plays a swaggering, cursing 20th century action hero (again, a cop) who awakens in a dystopian neo-LA/SF where tech businesses hold significant political power, lower classes are treated as outsiders and hidden to support an illusion of the privileged classes being the normal and Arnold Schwarzenegger has held political office. Also there's no violence and everyone is nice to each other which is cool.
Those who are interested in seeing a movie that meditates on the role of a traditional action hero in a society where traditional masculinity is long obsolete should see Mad Max, because this movie is about asskicking and half-understood cliches. Wesley Snipes plays a villain whose only purpose is to justify the violence but who manages to be iconic thanks to great costume design and Sandra Bullock plays a double-role of love interest and comic relief as Stallone's cop partner. This is a perfectly decent action movie, but it's actually really fucking funny.
FOR FANS OF: action comedy, movies from the past that predict the more recent past, doofy 90s CGI
DEADLIEST NATURAL HAZARD: ice (though maybe not that natural in this case)
FEMINIST CRITICISM CORNER: it doesn't take repeat viewings to recognize that these movies glamorize violence. The Good Guys are all tough cops who aren't afraid to shoot Bad Guys and the checks and balances that are ostensibly in place to stop them from abusing their power just get in the way of them doing their very important jobs. tango is grossly protective of his adult sister in Tango & Cash and it's presented as if that's just how men do and should act. each movie has exactly one important female character, and both are essentially just romantic leads for the men (exacerbated by the fact that Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man is Stallone's COP PARTNER). these movies have some problems, and i'd say they're around the baseline of what you might expect from a set of formulaic macho-man action movies without anything truly egregious by modern mainstream western standards.
overall three biceps out of five for people who enjoy the genre