Ishtar 1987 ***

Having spent most of their lives making meaningful movies, it’s hard to begrudge Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman taking a break from weighty roles to make a comedy on the lines of a Bing Crosby and Bob Hope Road to…film. Opening as the number one film at the US, Ishtar was hailed as a debacle, with the high price tag becoming an albatross around its neck. In retrospect, Ishtar is a surprisingly warm and funny movie, with Beatty and Hoffman both in good form as two talentless singer-songwriters who get involved in espionage alongside Natasha Kinski and a camel. Elaine may’s film has become a byword for excess, but buried deep inside is a smart, funny little road movie, a valentine to lost causes, swamped by lavish production values.


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