Clint Eastwood made some great films. This, the sequel to Every Which Way But Loose isn’t one of them.
In Any Which Way You Can (AWWYC) we find our hero, Philo Beddoe (Eastwood) on the road with orang-utan companion Clyde in tow, making his way as a bare-knuckle fighter. The action begins with Philo punching out a new victim as Clyde relieves himself on the seat of a police car. Thus the tone is set.
Philo and Clyde return home, where Philo, still living with his Ma (Ruth Gordon), is offered a contest with Jack Wilson (William Smith), the Mafia-sponsored East Coast bare-knuckle champ. Philo inadvertently saves Wilson’s life, but then the Mafia kidnaps his girlfriend (Sondra Locke) to force him to go ahead with a fight. Philo and Wilson then team up to battle the Mob, but somehow, someway they end up fighting anyway in a gruelling climactic sequence.
Never mind the orang-utan. The film has country music, bikers, the Mafia, an orang-utan, pick-up trucks, defecation jokes, fighting and of course drinking and swearing. It was one of the top-grossing films of 1980 in the UK, but this must surely have been based upon the box office pull of Clint Eastwood plus the success of Every Which Way But Loose rather than any good reviews it received. It’s the sort of film that you’d put on to fall asleep to after a night on the ale perhaps, good but not indispensable.
“Right turn Clyde!”