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Nighthawks - A Review -
Considering the past ten year war on terror, its a perfect time to revisit this 1981 movie about a dangerous and complex terrorist known only as 'Wulfgar'. He is heading to America, and he is being met by the challenge of two good guy cops. Sylvester Stallone play's a somewhat clichéd, out of control Sergeant called Deke DaSilva, with a typically cooler minded sidekick, Matthew Fox, played by the often excellent Billy Dee Williams. We see gun fights, chases, and the heat and tension sure builds up in the way that good action movies do, but that's the problem with 'Nighthawks', it should not just be a simple action film. If Stallone hadn't been allowed to be so hands on in this movie, we could have perhaps had some scene's explaining 'Wolfgars' past, what drove him to badly hurt and murder people, as it is, his back story is left somewhat ambiguous, and as a result, we have no other character's to be interested in other than Stallones. Quite frankly, discovering why a terrorist travels the globe to kill for a cause he believes so strongly in, is a much more interesting proposition than watching Sergeant DaSilva argue with his wife about never having time for her, and if Stallone had the gut's to really make a serious movie about terrorist's, then 'Nighthawks' could've been a much better movies than the one we got. I feel sorry for Rutger Hauer here, he could really have brought something fantastic to his role had his back story permitted it. All in all, its not unwatchable, but it's not the challenging film it could have been.
In the late 80s, Rutger Hauer had appeared in a string of wonderful and engaging movies. 'Escape From Sobibor', 'Bloodhounds Of Broadway', and 'On A Moonlit Night', all surpassed the level of workmanship found in his more action orientated movie's for which he'd become most well known for. 'Legend Of The Holy Drinker' arguably out shines all of the above film's, a laudable triumph, and one that sees Rutger Hauer deliver his finest performance of what has been a wonderful career. Hauer play's a street hobo called 'Andreas Kartak', an alcoholic who appears to be getting on with the grim task of being addicted to alcohol and being homeless. One day, a mysterious old man give's Andreas 200 francs, on the understanding that he repay his debt to the local Church when he is able to do so. What ensue's is a deeply symbolic and religious film that is acted with haunting perfection by the whole cast, with Hauer leading by example with an enchanting depiction of the alcoholic hobo. Set in an unknown era in Paris, the film itself is stunning to look at, with superb direction from veteran director Ermanno Olmi. Often movies are described as 'masterpieces', and in this case, the description is accurate. Other notable appearances include Anthony Quayle, Sandrine Dumas and french character actor Dominique Pinon. If you haven't seen 'Legend Of The Holy Drinker' i implore you to seek out a copy, it will not disappoint.