Monday, September 10, 2012

Sudden Impact (1983)

Dirty Harry Movie #4

Synopsis: Go ahead, make another pointless sequel.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “San Francisco homicide detective Harry Callahan doesn’t just stop crime; he stops it dead. In fact, he’s left so many cadavers around that his superiors, sensitive to outcries of ‘police brutality’, send him on assignment to San Paulo until things cool down. But wherever Harry goes, things just get hotter.”

What Did I Learn?: 1) Nobody puts ketchup on a hotdog. 2) Many things can happen to dogshit.

Really?: 1) So wait...a foul-mouthed lesbian helps her lowlife male friends rape a couple of young girls? That sounds terribly contrived. 2) does Harry know that Jennifer (Sondra Locke) and the bad guys are at the amusement park near the end of the movie? 3) Wow...the very minute Harry drives into San Paulo the bank gets robbed. What are the odds of that happening? 4) Gee...I guess you can’t hit anything with two Uzi sub-machineguns. 5) Oh man...Harry has two – count’em two – Molotov cocktails thrown into his car, and instead of...oh, I don’t know...stopping and running away from a likely explosion, he keeps driving, grabs one, and throws it at his attackers? 6) How many times is Harry attacked by thugs, only to be later chastised by a superior: “I’ve got the Mayor breathing down my neck, and this is your idea of a vacation?” 7) There’s a long camera shot of a unicorn horn on a merry-go-round during the final confrontation...any guesses as to how that horn is employed?

Rating: Sudden Impact is a weak entry in the Dirty Harry franchise, and a borderline BAD MOVIE for a few reasons: a) it gets increasingly difficult to sympathize with Jennifer’s lust for revenge (especially after she kills the hardware store owner), and b) sub-plots come and go – Harry is hunted down by the mob until they apparently lose interest mid-way through the movie after he picks off experienced hitmen like lint balls off his suit jacket. Sudden Impact’s biggest problem, though, is that it quickly descends into Sledge Hammer-ish self-parody; I’m sorry, but I simply couldn’t take seriously the scene of Harry returning to the diner after receiving a sickly-sweet cup of coffee. 5.5/10 stars.


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