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Sudden Impact

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Sudden Impact

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rated: R
RunTime: 117 Minutes
Release Date: January 1993
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Pat Hingle, Paul Drake, Bradford Dillman, Jack Thibeau, Albert Popwell

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

The beauty of the Dirty Harry movies isn't all the famous lines but is Clint Eastwood's wonderfully dry and threatening delivery of them. With any other actor, it would have never been the same. Actually, Eastwood could rely on his signature scowl and make a marvelous silent Dirty Harry picture.

SUDDEN IMPACT from 1983, the fourth of the five Dirty Harry movies, is being re-released on DVD with a new digital transfer in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the start of the series. Of the five, SUDDEN IMPACT may win in the Dirty Harry memorable lines sweepstakes. It includes: "Go ahead, make my day." and "You're a legend in your own mind." The ever cocky Dirty Harry (Eastwood) has a great repartee with some punks robbing a diner towards the beginning of SUDDEN IMPACT. Standing alone, while facing a bunch of gun-toting hoods, he tells them, "We're not just going to let you walk out of here." "Who's 'we,' sucker?", one of the robbers replies, completely dumbfounded. "Smith -- and Wesson -- and me," Harry tells him before blasting away.

Called a "walking combat zone" by his boss, Harry has to deal this time with crooks who have significantly more firepower than he does. When he is chased by criminals with Uzis, he and his big gun still manage to blow the bad guys away.

The plot concerns a serial killer named Jennifer Spencer, who is played by Eastwood's longtime live-in lover, Sondra Locke. Ten years after Jennifer and her sister were brutally gang raped, turning her sister into a vegetable afterwards, Jennifer sets out to kill all of the men involved.

With as clear a mark as Zorro's "Z," Jennifer always shoots her victims first in the genitals and then in the head. Although Harry is assigned to track the killer down, you can bet that his sympathies will eventually be with her since these killings are a form of vigilante justice. It's frontier justice that Harry loves most. In fact, the movie's best visual, filmed on the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk at night, has a backlit Harry standing like a sheriff in the old West, ready to start the big shootout. Want to bet on who has the fastest gun?

SUDDEN IMPACT runs 1:57. It is rated R for violence, nudity and language and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ** 1/2. He liked the movie but not as much as the first three.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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