Sunday, November 14, 2010
"Sudden Impact:" So much more than an overused catch phrase
Title: Sudden Impact
Genre: Dirty Harry, take four
Notable for: "Go ahead, make my day"
Coolest thing Clint does: Goads mafioso into heart attack at the mafioso's daughter's wedding
After several weeks of country singing, comedy with apes, half-baked spy stuff, and fake cowboys coping with a harsh modern world, we were nearly distraught from withdrawal from real Clint Eastwood.
Thank God for "Sudden Impact." The return of Dirty Harry is like a Colt 45 tall boy to a sweaty alcoholic.
Clint is accused of dragging out the Dirty Harry franchise too long, but that's mostly bullshit because "Sudden Impact," the fourth of five, may be the best in the series.
Harry's gun is bigger than ever and assorted scumbags receive his usual dose of death or public disgrace.
Clint spits his overused catch phrase, "Go ahead, make my day," through clenched teeth while confronting a coffee-shop robber. Just as good but less catch-phrasey is the scene where he grabs a smirking punk in an elevator and tells him, "To me you're nothing but dog shit, understand?" If you get blue-ray, the vein that pops out in Clint's temple during that dog-shit speech looks bigger than a garter snake. Just as good is when Clint goads a mafioso into a fatal heart attack. The mafioso is not even listed in the credits but he's played by Michael V. Gazzo -- Frankie Pentangeli from Godfather II.
Damn good stuff and it has nothing to do with the real plot of "Sudden Impact."
"Sudden Impact" is really about a female serial killer taking revenge for a gang rape. She tracks down each rapist, shoots him in the balls, then in the head.
Sondra Locke plays the cock-shooter and we say it is her best performance in a Clint Eastwood film. It's a role suited to her talents.
Dirty Harry is investigating her string of penis-disfiguring murders, but he comes to realize the victims deserve to die. He practically joins forces with Locke when the scumbags kill his partner (yes, again) and cripple his dog.
The climax comes when the worst scumbag rapist falls through a carousel and is impaled through the chest on the horn of a unicorn. Our guess is symbolism is intended.
At the end, Clint sets both Locke and his audience free. This is Locke's last appearance in any Eastwood film because an ugly split-up loomed in real life. Who could have seen that coming?
Testosterone, protruding temple veins, and rapists brought to crotch-searing justice. A man needs to know what he does best. Thanks, Clint.
Next up: "City Heat."