Tank

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TANK—casually entertaining, preposterous little 1984 drama from the rabble-rouse school. Career Army sergeant ‘Zack Carey’ (James Garner) and family (son C. Thomas Howell & wife Shirley Jones) move to a new town ‘down South’ (alert! ), hoping to serve out Zack’s last hitch. But a piddling bar incident with a nasty local deputy brings about an avalanche of wrath from the sheriff. After a series of confrontations, the Sarge ends up breaking his kid out of the county lockup with a WW2 vintage Sherman tank. The good guys make treads for the Tennessee border—will they get there?

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The first half clicks along well, escalating tension effectively and giving Garner, 56, one of the better movie-acting slices he’d had in some time.  The second half is pure bull, as Zack n’ tank elude, shoot up and humiliate the local rednecks.

Marketed as a comedy, it isn’t, what with the vicious behavior exhibited: some viable dramatic possibilities are uprooted by the absurd resolutions: director Marvin J. Chomsky can’t make up his mind what story he wants to sell.

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Tank?

Still, most of 113 minutes are watchable, thanks to Garner and two dandy hate-their-living-guts turns from bad guys G.D. Spradlin (sheriff) and James Cromwell (deputy).

With Mark Herrier, Jennilee Harrison, Dorian Harewood and John Hancock.  Box-office racked up $11,303,000, 66th place back in ’84.

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