Two Of A Kind

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TWO OF A KIND—-boiled, chewed and spat out by critics in 1983, this fantasy-comedy might please fans of its two stars: however flimsy it may be, it didn’t deserve the total slaughter accorded it by reviewers.

John Travolta plays a small-time inventor. In hock to hoods, he robs a bank, or rather tries to, as the teller he hits up (Olivia Newton-John) absconds with the paper sack he ordered the money to be put in. Meanwhile, up in Heaven, God (voiced by Gene Hackman) has decided to start afresh with the Earth unless helpers (Charles Durning and Scatman Crowthers) can convince him of Man’s worthiness, in the guise of the two essentially good-natured ripoffs at the bank. With that much plot info, you’ll either think it’s stupid from the get-go and pass, or you’ll allow a harmless whimsy and give it a peek.

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Oliver Reed plays the Devil, having a good time being nasty. The direction, by its writer John Herzfeld, is slapdash, the production values and editing are merely adequate, background music (including songs from Olivia) innocuous but inoffensive. The stars, reunited from Grease five years earlier, work well together, given the material.  People need to lighten up. 90 minutes, with Beatrice Straight, Richard Bright, Toni Kalem, Jack Kehoe and Tony Munafo. It came in 29th for the year, earning $23,647,000.

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