Any Which Way You Can

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ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN—-1980 follow-up to 1978s hit Every Which Way But Loose was also a box-office noisemaker, landing 5th place for the year, swallowing $70,700,000 in the US market alone, proving there are a lot of Americans who like jokes about ape shit.  If you loved the first one, you’ll like this. If you thought EWWBL was silly one-off fun, this will be more than enough.  If you hated the first one, this probably isn’t the review you picked out to read.

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Directed by Buddy Van Horn, this sees ‘Philo’ (Clint Eastwood) and pal ‘Clyde’ (orangutan) mixed up with the Mob, as well as the bikers from the first flick. ‘Maw’ (Ruth Gordon) is back, ditto Sondra Locke and Geoffrey Lewis.

Tired blood, drawn out for 116 minutes, the dumb but amusing storyline of the first go-round padded into the realm of the Witless Sequel, inhabited by the likes of Francis the Talking Mule, Matt Helm, Damien Thorne (start a list)….

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It’s a dud, but giving credit its due, there is an okay bout of fisticuffs at the tail end, with William Smith—getting a decent break for a change—and at least it’s better than Smokey And The Bandit II, which rolled out the same year.*

Costing $15,000,000 to produce, it features Barry Corbin, Harry Guardino, Michael Cavanaugh, Don Quade, Dan Vadis, Roy Jenson, Bill McKinney , Jim Stafford (“Spiders and Snakes”), with bits from Fats Domino and Glen Campbell.  Sad note: the orangutan passed away two weeks after the movie wrapped, from a cerebral hemorrhage.

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*Despite some woofers like this, 1980 was a bumper crop year for good comedy: Airplane, Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, Melvin And Howard, 9 To 5, The Black Marble, Stir Crazy, How To Beat The High Cost Of Living, Hero At Large, The Stuntman, Serial, Private Benjamin and Used Cars.

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