Used Cars (1980)

Used Cars (1980)

“There goes a perfectly good bumper sticker.”

Synopsis:
A used car salesman (Kurt Russell) tries to prevent his dead boss’s car lot from falling into the hands of his boss’s nefarious twin brother (Jack Warden).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • Rivalry
  • Salesmen

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary is not alone in his assessment of this “fast-moving, eccentric” comedy — a “properly amoral tribute to that American institution, the shyster used-car dealer who has made a genuine craft… out of fast-talking us into believing the junk he’s literally put together with spit and polish (and bubble gum) is the car of our dreams” — as
“imaginative”, “hilarious”, “consistently funny” and “very entertaining”. Many other critics seem to agree (see links below) — but I’m afraid I’m not one of them. More akin to Porky’s (1981) than Airplane! (1980), Used Cars relies far too heavily on broad slapstick in its skewering of what is already a sure-fire target. There’s potential here for something much greater.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A few mildly amusing moments — as when a trained dog plays dead in

Must See?
No. This one is only for die-hard fans of Zemeckis’ comedies.

Links:

One thought on “Used Cars (1980)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    Mildly amusing comedy, bolstered considerably and admirably by fun performances and Zemeckis’ confident, lively direction. There’s a bit of overkill at the end.

    ‘Toby’ (the dog) is great!

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