Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1988
Directed by
Robert Towne
116 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Tequila Sunrise

The writer of Chinatown and script doctor for many other '70s classics directs his own script here with abysmal results. Tequila Sunrise is an exemplary piece of late ’80 kitsch that combines a would-be tough guy drug movie with a soft-centred romance, the one doing a stylistic disservice to the other..

Mel Gibson plays Dale “Mac” McKussic a retired Californian drug dealer who is suspected of being about to pull off a big score with his long-time partner. Mexican king-pin Carlos (Raul Julia). Kurt Russell is an old school buddy now a narcotics cop charged with bringing McKussic down. Both of them are in love with Jo Ann Vallenari (Michelle Pfieffer) who owns an up-scale Italian restaurant. 

Heat (1995) this is not. Gibson rolls out the twinkle-eyed Mr Nice Guy schtick that brought him so much success the previous year with Lethal Weapon and a formidably square-jawed Russell looks like he should be in a Batman outfit in a rambling screenplay that swings this way then that with no discernible commitment to credibility as the two men variously play cat-and-mouse and buddy-up with each other and Jo Ann switches between the two of them with the greatest of amorous ease.

Whilst the plot is so slap-dash no-one could possible care what is going on it is the vacuously slick ‘80s production values (there is a revealing joke apropos this in the latter stages, something most apparent in David Grusin's god-awful saxphone-led West Coast jazz score, that is the death of the film.  Mac and Jo Ann’s carnal consummation in a hot-tube is a masterpiece in this respect but the rest of the film is simply too tepid to be of interest, its appealing cast notwithstanding




Want something different?

random vintage best worst