Monday, May 31, 2021

#2,577. Tough Guys (1986) - The Films of Kirk Douglas


Tough Guys marked the seventh time that stars Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas appeared in a movie together, and after seeing this 1986 crime / comedy I can’t help but wish they’d stopped at six.

Having served 30 years for train robbery, Harry Doyle (Lancaster) and Archie Long (Douglas) are released from prison. Their parole officer Richie (Dana Carvey), who also happens to be their biggest fan, does what he can to help the former convicts adapt to a normal life, but Harry and Archie have a rough time of it, and with a nearsighted assassin (Eli Wallach) trying to knock them off, the old friends decide to go back into business for themselves, doing what they do best.

Directed by Jeff Kanew (who previously worked with Douglas in Eddie Macon’s Run), Tough Guys gets off to a decent start; Harry, now in his 70s, is sent to a retirement home, where he reconnects with his old flame, Belle (Alexis Smith). Their scenes together are sweet, while Douglas’s Archie gets most of the laughs early on with his job at a frozen yogurt parlor as well as his whirlwind romance with the much younger Skye (Darlanne Fluegel), whose sexual appetite proves more than he can handle (and for a man in his late ‘60s, Kirk Douglas was in damn good shape!).

Unfortunately, Tough Guys falls apart when Harry and Archie once again turn to crime, resulting in a number of “funny” scenes that fall flat. In addition, Charles Durning is wasted (he plays Detective Deke Yablonski, who busted the duo thirty years earlier), while Eli Wallach is painfully over-the-top as the hired gun trying to kill our heroes.

And the less said about the train heist at the end, the better!
Rating: 4 out of 10

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