Written by / 11/28/2011 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

GIBSON, RUSSELL & PHEIFFER IN TEQUILA SUNRISE

1988 rating: ***
Anyone thinking this will be a corny movie involving three great looking people in a steamy crime melodrama dealing with a predictable love triangle, like the poster implies, you’re only half right...

Written and directed by Robert Towne, who penned CHINATOWN, arguably the greatest original script-to-film ever made, this starts out all right: building enough suspense and interesting characters through tight dialogue, making you wonder who Mel Gibson, as an infamous L.A. drug pusher, is waiting to connect with as Kurt Russell, playing his high school friend who's a detective, and Michelle Pheiffer, as a restaurant owner, are caught in-between: Gibson, who swears he's gone straight, plays down as a guy being watched by everyone: from the feds to junkies to other dealers.

Kurt Russell provides an effective counterbalance as the good cop (especially compared to seedy agent J.T. Walsh) with the hots for Pheiffer, who eventually realizes she’s in love with Gibson: and your typical steamy love scene ensues. This, along with searing saxophone riffs heard in every eighties cop film, turns an involving dialog-driven plot into soap operatic fare… yet a tense vibe remains that’ll keep you locked in till the end. And it could have used a better, more fitting title.
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