Friday, 20 June 2014

Clint Eastwood, Bernadette Peters, White Supremacists, and a Pink Cadillac... Yes, this Really Happened

When a movie has a title like Pink Cadillac, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps your stereotypical "chick flick" or some type of really bad romantic comedy. Certainly not a crazy but surprisingly entertaining action film with Clint Eastwood, but that's precisely what Director Buddy Van Horn gave us under that title in 1989.

Clint Eastwood plays a "Skip Tracer", an agent working for a bails bondsman sent to find creative ways to pick up fugitive criminals. After successfully apprehending a few dangerous crooks he gets his toughest case yet: a young woman played by Bernadette Peters who has fled her abusive and negligent husband in his pink Cadillac (a really fancy car for those of you who don't know) with a bunch of counterfeit money. At first it seems simple enough, get the girl and bring her back. That is until various complications emerge that keep the two of them together and they end up both becoming fugitives and running from a nasty group of white supremacists who happen to have a lot of guns and very short tempers.

The strange thing is that the movie is actually a lot more enjoyable than you'd expect. There is a bit of humor and the film doesn't take itself too seriously but that the same time it never goes too over-the-top, so it manages to keep you invested in its story. The performances are also really good. Clint is of course a big tough action hero as you'd usually expect but he actually has really good chemistry with Bernadette Peters. The relationship, including Clint's growth from simply wanting to get the job done to starting to sympathize with and ultimately partnering up with her, is actually quite touching. There's also plenty of good side characters they bump into along the way who while only on screen briefly manage to make their scenes a lot of fun.

Then of course there's the villains. For a movie called Pink Cadillac you wouldn't expect it but these guys are nasty even for Clint Eastwood. There is never a moment when they're on screen that they don't intimidate the viewer. It always becomes a tense moment when our heroes encounter them and it is nothing short of a relief when they go away. The film also never lets us forget these are the bad guys: a militant group made up largely of racist men (and a few women) who also happen to have plenty of guns. Their leader, played by Bill Moseley, is especially intimidating even when just addressing his own people.

Naturally, a film like this should have lots of great action scenes and it delivers. Clint gets plenty of moments to get tough and dirty while Peters might not be as inclined to pull out a gun but does find various ways to help. As noted before every time the bad guys catch up with our heroes it always becomes a very tense scene. You're always left on the edge of your seat wondering what's going to happen next.

Overall, Pink Cadillac is actually a really fun movie. It never drags on, it keeps you going with a bit of humor that is balanced with some surprisingly touching character interactions. Nothing ever seems to feel forced. In most respects its very solid and if you want a fun, straight forward action film then definitely check this one out.

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