Lowdown: A bounty hunter joins forces with the woman he’s after.
I sat down to watch 1989’s Pink Cadillac with much anticipation: According to the Clint Eastwood book I recently read this is one of his lesser films, and I was curious to see how such a phenomenon takes shape in a Clint Eastwood film I probably never seen before. If, indeed, Pink Cadillac turns out to be a poor show then one has to admire how the same moviemaker went on to make the glorious Unforgiven just a few years later.
Pink Cadillac follows a young mother (Bernadette Peters) in a dilemma: she loves her baby and obviously loves her husband, but the husband is pretty useless and looks to make his fortune with a gang of criminals. When the authorities find counterfeit money at their caravan she takes the blame and is released on bail, but then runs away in her husband’s pink Cadillac. She finds herself chased by the crooks as well as by a Clint Eastwood who is pretty good at bounty hunting. Eastwood thinks of her as a job, but upon acquiring his target ahead of the criminals he sympathizes with the woman and instead of bringing her in he aims towards solving her problems. Problem is, there are a whole lot of criminals in between.
Uninspiringly directed by Buddy Van Horn there can be no doubt Pink Cadillac is, indeed, one of Eastwood’s lesser efforts. The whole thing really feels like an episode of The A Team from the eighties, including the silly characters, the romance that doesn’t really feel like it’s working, and the artificially softened action scenes that always take care to show you no one got hurt.
On the positive side there are some bonuses here for the Eastwood fan. First of all, even in a bad film Eastwood himself is pretty good; after all, he’s doing his usual role of the stranger coming in to mend a family here yet again, and he’s quite good at it. Second, as a part of his bounty hunting job he gets to do impersonations and dress ups: where else can you see Eastwood dressed like a clown?
Best scene: Eastwood with a fake moustache and a shiny golden suit has a go at conning the criminals at a casino. Because of the suit.
Interesting scene: Jim Carrey does what is probably one of his earliest on screen appearances, playing his usual mad self. No wonder he grew up to become an anti vaccination lunatic.
Worst scenes: This film seems to have associated itself with the worst of eighties music.
Overall: A very limited film at 2 out of 5 stars, but still an interesting experience for the Eastwood fan. In many respects it beggars belief that such films actually existed after the rise of the summer blockbuster.