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