Movie Review: Armed and Dangerous (1986)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1986 action/comedy starring John Candy and Eugene Levy.

Synopsis: After getting fired from the Los Angeles Police Department, Frank Dooley takes a job as a night watchman for Guard Dog Security and is paired with bumbling ex-attorney Norman Kane. When they are fined by their boss after a warehouse is robbed on their watch, they take their complaint to their union are punished further by being assigned to guard garbage and toxic waste. Suspecting something is amiss, they begin to investigate both the company they are working for and the union that is supposed to be representing them.

Who's In It?


This film has been on one of our movie channels several times over the past few weeks and, even though it wasn't a film I really was all that interested in seeing, I did end up watching it, a little at a time, over the course of a few days. For the most part, it was pretty much what I was expecting it to be. But, it also, admittedly, was better than I thought it would be.

I think my biggest complaint about this film is it really never breaks out of that "typical 80s comedy" description I gave it when I first started watching it. By that, I mean it relies heavily on stereotypes that were common in movies from this time period. The guns are big (and everyone has them). Being gay (or, in this case, acting gay) means dressing flamboyantly and going to the gym means you have to have huge muscles, even if you're female.

The plot of this movie is also kind of predictable. The second the warehouse is robbed as they are conveniently being sent to lunch, it was pretty obvious they were being set up. And, the fact they were punished every time they raised a question only confirmed that. Once that became obvious, it wasn't overly difficult to figure out who was responsible.

The movie, however, did have some good things. For one, I did find I like the pairing of Candy and Levy. They each did a decent job in their respective roles while, at the same time, played off of each other well. In particular, I loved how Candy's character, Frank Dooley, came off as a tough guy ex-cop but, at the same time, would run into comedic situations that brought him down to Earth a bit. And, if nothing else, the fight scenes (especially the one with him fighting those guard dogs) were entertaining to watch.

The movie also does have a couple memorable supporting characters. This includes the half-crazed truck driver, the Cowboy (Steve Railsback), who was fun to watch in his short amount of time. While these additions didn't do much to make the overall movie stand out, they at least gave it a boost when it needed it.

Armed and Dangerous

John Candy and Eugene Levy charge into the world of private security in the outrageous action-comedy ARMED AND DANGEROUS. Unfortunately, they're usually charging in the wrong di...

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Final Opinion

As I said, it's a typical 80s comedy and relies on many of the stereotypes you'll see in plenty of films from this genre/era. However, Candy and Levy, along with some of the supporting cast, do make it watchable and, because of that, I would recommend it if you're looking for something to watch on a rainy day.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 10/14/2015, StevenHelmer
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