(director: Buddy van Horn; screenwriter: John Eskow; cinematographer: Jack N. Green; editor: Joel Cox; music: Steve Dorff; cast: Clint Eastwood (Tommy Nowak), Bernadette Peters (Lou Ann McGuinn), Timothy Carhart (Roy McGuinn), Tiffany Gail Robinson (McGuinn Baby), Angela Louise Robinson (McGuinn Baby), Michael Des Barres(Alex), John Dennis Johnston(Waycross), Jimmie F. Skaggs (Billy Dunston), Geoffrey Lewis (Ricky Z), Frances Fisher (Dinah), Cliff Bemis (Jeff), Bill Mosely (Darrell), Randy Bates (Gary Klar), Wayne Storm (Jack Bass), Gerry Bamman (Buddy), William Hickey (Mr. Barton), Randy Kirby (District Attorney), James Cromwell (Motel desk clerk),Jim Carrey (Reno lounge singer); Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: David Valdes; Warner Home Video; 1989)
“Somehow works as one of Clint Eastwood’s lesser vehicles.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An action comedy directed by Clint’s long-time associate Buddy van Horn (“The Dead Pool”/”Any Which Way You Can“) that’s lazily helmed and more a standard white Ford than a fancy pink Cadillac. Writer John Eskow keeps things strained, filled with big plot holes, and with awkward chase scenes, but it’s entertaining, rich in character study and somehow works as one of Clint Eastwood’s lesser vehicles.
The resourceful Tom Nowak (Clint Eastwood) is a skip-tracer (bounty hunter) working out of Buddy’s (Gerry Bamman) bail bondsman’s place in Sacramento. He is noted for wearing disguises and using voice changes to catch his prey and in bringing them back alive. He’s hired to find Lou Ann McGuinn (Bernadette Peters), who skipped bail when held for possession of counterfeit money. Lou Ann flees with her 8-month-old baby to see her sister (Frances Fisher) in Reno when she finds her screw-up husband Roy’s (Timothy Carhart) ’59 pink Cadillac parked in front of her trailer park home. In the car, on the road to Reno, she finds a bag of money worth $250, 000, which is real but she thinks is counterfeit. The money belongs to the white supremacist group called the Birthright that her hubby is a member of. They are after her for fleeing with their loot and fear she may squeal on them. Tom nabs her in the Reno casino, but has a soft spot for her plight and agrees to try and help her clear her name by bringing the money to the DA. But when she arrives at her sister’s house to get her baby, there’s her hubby and one of the speed-freak Folsom jailbirds, Waycross (John Dennis Johnston), who snatches her baby. In a shootout with Tom, Waycross dies but hubby takes her baby to the racist’s camp hideout in the Sierras and the gang holds the baby ransom for their cash.
How things get worked out between the maniacal cult leader Alex (Michael Des Barre) and the free-wheeling Tom, bring the overlong and slight film to its absurd feel-good conclusion.
REVIEWED ON 6/30/2017 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/