Friday, July 3, 2009

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact; Crime, USA, 1983; D: Clint Eastwood, S: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Bradford Dillman, Pat Hingle

Inspector Harry Callahan arrests a criminal with whom he found a gun with, but the court sets him free because he was arrested without a search warrant. The bad day is only saved by Harry's courage since he prevented a store robbery. But there are other problems: some woman kills men shooting them in the head and genitals, but the police has no clue. That woman is Jennifer who is taking revenge on the group of criminals who raped her and her sister Elizabeth 10 years ago. Harry meets Jennifer but doesn't know she is the perpetrator. She kills the whole gang except one, the worst criminal who takes her as a hostage. But he gets killed by Harry.

The 4th part of the "Dirty Harry" serial, filmed 7 years after the last sequel, was directed by Clint Eastwood himself, so the series as a whole was finally moved a step forwards, though it, of course, doesn't reach the artistic heights of some of his later, more mature films. Since Eastwood is over 6'4 tall, he is ideal in the role of the "over-human" fighter for justice who dares to take on every bad guy, no matter how tough. In one scene, for instance, the court sets a criminal free, but Harry enters the elevator with him and warns him that he considers him "shit" to whom everything can happen. Likewise, the "Go ahead, make my day" line is a legend, even better than many strong lines from the first film. The most absurd sequence is the one where Harry is chasing a criminal in a bus (!) full of retired people, but despite a more character based approach, the main problem are again the cliched dramaturgy and a mild finale which definitely loosed the energy from the fresh original.


1 comment:

cinemarchaeologist said...

By the time he gets to SUDDEN IMPACT, Eastwood had began his practice of producing a commercial film or two in order to pay for a more personal (but less commercial) project or two. SUDDEN IMPACT paid for TIGHTROPE, just as FIREFOX had paid for HONKYTONK MAN before it.

Commercial though Dirty Harry always is, the movies, from THE ENFORCER forward, are basically just empty-headed fun, with Eastwood doing little more than going through the motions.