Any Which Way You Can

I first saw Any Which Way You can way back when I was a boy and, with nothing on at the cinema, this weekend seemed like a good idea to inflict on the boys the story of bare knuckle fighter his Orangutan.

I had forgotten just how funny this film can be.

Clint Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a bare knuckle fighter who has decided to retire, until the Mafia makes him an offer too generous to refuse. On discovering just how dangerous this fight is likely to be, beddoe tries to call off the fight, at which point the villains kidnap his recently returned girlfriend to try and force him to turn up.

The plot meanders around this, Beddoe’s repeated run-ins with The Black Widows, the most pathetic biker gang ever to reach celluloid, corrupt cops, and Clyde.

Clyde is an orangutan and the real star of this film and its his antics that lift the film from a forgettable 1980s comedy to something that is consistently laugh out loud funny. Wisely, Eastwood recognises who is the real star of the film and is content to play the straight man to the hairy comedian.

There is nothing particularly clever about Any Which Way You Can, and some of the attitudes do look a bit dated now, but Clyde is a joy to watch and makes for a hugely entertaining evening.

“Right turn, Clyde.”