A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
A vicious serial-killer is on the loose in San Francisco and the police trace a link to a small town further down the coast. When Harry Callahan upsets the press and the mayor in his usual style, he's shipped out of town to investigate while the heat is on. With the help of his new Magnum handgun Harry goes on the trail leaving behind the usual trail of dead criminals along the way. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Camera crew visible in reflection on car when Harry's partner sneaks up on him during target practise. See more »
Inspector, your methods are unconventional to say the least. Oh, you get results. But often your successes are more costly to this department in terms of expenses and physical destruction than most other men's failures.
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Fourth Dirty Harry entry changes the formula to a darker, character-driven style.... interesting but not wholly successful.
Sudden Impact is the most unusual of the five Dirty Harry movies, but that doesn't make it the best. However, after the rather flat and comic-book heroics of the third film, The Enforcer, it's good to see some changes to the formula. Sudden Impact is quite a dark, moody piece of cinema with big emphasis on character. Yes, there's action, but the action in this one is only one piece of the jigsaw whereas in some of the other Dirty Harry outings the action was everything.
Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is in hot water with his superiors for carrying out an illegal search on a suspicious car. The young thugs he arrested are released because of the lack of evidence, and they set out to take revenge on Harry. However, Harry is a tough nut to crack - and pretty soon he is striking back in his own destructive style. Harry's boss decides to get Harry out of town for a while to avoid further bloodshed, so he assigns him to a quiet murder investigation in an isolated coastal town. Harry pieces together the mystery and discovers that the killer is a female artist (Locke) who is bumping off a bunch of drop-outs who gang-raped her and her sister years previously. Should he arrest her for the killings, or should he turn a blind eye and let her do away with these repellent scum-bags?
The film is probably the second best in the series (the original is always going to be considered the best). Peculiarly, it is the only Dirty Harry movie upon which Eastwood also doubled up as director. It isn't a whole success, with some needless scenes (what's the point of the sequence detailing the hold-up of a coffee shop?) and a couple of overly hammy performances by the main villains (especially the trailer trash redhead). On the whole, though, this is a very interesting and unusual addition to the series which gets by on the strength of being totally different to all the other four episodes.
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