Calvin Clements, Jr. was nominated in 1981 for an Edgar as author of the teleplay for this entertaining film featuring Kevin Dobson as Mike Hammer, hardened New York private investigator created by Mickey Spillane, loosely based upon Spillane's first novel: "I, The Jury", (the movie being a pilot for a television series that did not happen) and including characters who recur in the Hammer series, such as his Girl Friday, Velda (Cindy Pickett) and N.Y.P.D. Detective Captain Pat Chambers (Charles Hallahan). The obsessive zeal with which Hammer attempts to discover whomever is responsible for the murder of his best friend is earnestly depicted by Dobson as his character balks at taking a recess from a search that leads to confrontations with the Police Department and organized crime, resulting in his exposure of political corruption, all the while wooing various highly attractive and readily consenting women. Director of Photography Michael Margulies is responsible for the atmospheric footage of the mean streets in New York City, a fitting background for Hammer's mission of vengeance, and Asher Brauner, as a connected thug and John Considine as attorney for mob bigwigs give pleasing performances as do Dobson and Pickett, but the scenario is predictable with Hammer irresistible and invincible in turn and Nelson Riddle's scoring is one of his least inventive, these the primary drawbacks in a film that nonetheless generates very few tedious segments.
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