Picks and Pans Review: Pink Cadillac

updated 06/12/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/12/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Clint Eastwood, Bernadette Peters, a 1959 Cadillac convertible

You're thinking that this is another movie where Eastwood plays a soft-spoken law-enforcement official who goes out to find bad guys, pound on them and blast them to smithereens. Nope. In this film he plays a soft-spoken law-enforcement official who finds bad guys. But he tricks them first, and then he pounds on them and blasts them to smithereens.

He's a skip tracer—a modern bounty hunter who chases people when they jump bail. One of his quarries is Peters, who has skipped bail in a counterfeiting case. She was taking a rap for her good-for-nothing husband and has driven off in his prized pink Caddie. The Caddie turns out to be a cache for money belonging to a militant white-supremacist organization.

The resultant chasing around, gun battles and romance between Eastwood and Peters contain zero surprises. Newcomer John Eskow's script comes in at around—2 on the plausibility meter. But he and director Buddy (The Dead Pool) Van Horn are smart enough to give Eastwood and Peters a chance to sustain interest by flexing their strengths of personality.

Eastwood even gets to act up a bit. His mocking imitation of Peters—"I'm just a poor helpless girl and I need a big strong man to help me"—is fun, and so is his impersonation of a Reno casino manager, gold lamé jacket and all. which he uses to trap a skipper. "I've got a firm policy on gun control." he says at another point. "If there's a gun around, I want to control it."

Peters is a big enough star that she doesn't have to worry about people saying "Are you sure Sondra Locke started like this?" Peters in fact has some of Eastwood's ability to attract attention just by sardonic underplaying.

The ending is vague. It's not clear whether the worst villains are dead or have been spared for a sequel. Reconditioned Cadillac doesn't have the same pizzazz as titles go, though, so maybe everyone will get off easy. (PG-13)

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