Dirty Harry has had an interesting assortment of foes over the course of 3 movies. A psychotic sniper who manipulates Harry and plays the system like a fiddle. A gang of cowboy cops who murder untouchable criminals, people you'd think Harry would sympathize with and a gang of militants while Harry is told to play nicer with criminals. But the villain this time walks a grayer line in the form of a woman who survived gang rape and is executing her attackers. Does Harry upon learning this news still uphold the law and take her in despite her righting a despicable wrong? Or will Harry look the other way after all the murders and bloodshed and allow an otherwise good woman to walk away and try and continue her life? That was the biggest question I was hoping the movie would ask before the end and sadly it never spoke up.
Sudden Impact is the fourth Dirty Harry movie with Harry up to the same old, same old. Harry busted some creeps, they walk on technicalities, his bosses are mad at him but Harry knows they're full of sh**. The usual. Not too far away has a shooting where a solemn woman is meeting various men and having it all end the same way. A bullet to they're groin and then the head. Turns out the woman is an artist from out of town and the men (and even a woman) she meets were involved in gang raping her and her sister years ago. The sister is still catatonic in a hospital and revenge must be sought. Harry learns the victim was from out of town and while doing some investigating, Harry finds that the same trail is picking up there too.
There is so much of this movie that felt out of place. Harry going out of town when the other movies all take place in San Francisco. Harry's new auto mag 44 which is only introduced for.....no real reason. Harry happens to have it along when hoods beat him up and he loses his beloved S&W 44 model 29. If he didn't lose the gun, he wouldn't have needed the auto mag. The members of the town talking amongst themselves at the knowledge that they're fellow criminals are being killed off one by one. It almost felt like a made for TV movie about rape and revenge. The movie even showed first person perspectives of the lead woman being raped by the gang. Classy. I'd forgive the tasteless move on director Eastwood's part if it was his first movie, which it wasn't. Unless it was to help us get behind the victim it really came off as a little tasteless. Oh, and we can't forget Harry's new sidekick: NO not another disposable partner, Meathead the Bulldog introduced for........no reason.
The good news is Lalo Schiffrin came back to do another score. He was missed in The Enforcer, not that the score was bad, but it's good that he's back. Secondly is the movie is not short on action beats and the movie moves along. Third, of course is the immortal "Go ahead, make my day!"
Sudden Impact is to me the weakest of the Dirty Harry movies but still remains entertaining. But it has so much going against it with a TV movie plot put on the big screen and treated in an ugly way. I wish the story was worked on a little bit more especailly regarding what I talked about above with Harry learning more about the crimes and making a judgement as far as whats right and whats good. I wish I could sympathize with the antagonist more. I realize the character is aloof and distant for a reason but I ended up not caring for her that much. The most satisfying part was when Harry roughed up the guys in the elevator at the start of the movie and compared them to dogs**t.
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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