Sudden Impact ★★★½

Last night I had nothing in mind I felt like I had to see, so I figured I'd go with a film I hadn't watched in a long time. Honestly, I am not sure how I did not remember all the OTT material in this picture. It's not the best Dirty Harry flick but at least it was more exciting and definitely more memorable than The Enforcer. The good times started when I popped the disc into my player and the menu music was the incredible opening credits theme. Now, the first three movies had cool 70's funky jazzy scores from both Lalo Schifrin and Jerry Fielding. Here-where Schifrin returns-you get some traditional score you'd expect in a movie but there's also a lot of early 80's jazz, and some of that (such as the opening song) is like what early 80's Herbie Hancock was playing, especially the Future Shock album. The song even has record scratches, which dates it... in all the best ways, I say. The entire score is pretty cool; as it's sometimes full of bombast, it does play in a role in giving Sudden Impact some energy.

Dirty Harry is still the loosest of loose cannons, pissing off his superiors and doing such OTT things as scaring an older criminal (Michael V. Gazzo!) into having a heart attack. I imagine some would object to his boldest actions as it's not what a police officer is supposed to do in these modern times. He is forced to take a vacation... which turns into a work vacation anyhow as he ends up trying to get evidence on a spree of scummy people who are shot in the genitals then in the head; turns out, it's Sondra Locke; her character and the character's sister are raped years ago, so she is getting revenge.

The movie is full of ridiculous moments, yet it is ridiculously entertaining... even for a movie with such a major plot point as what I describe in the preceding block of text. Somehow Sudden Impact has that and a bulldog which has two moments where it farts. I don't want to spoil most of the outrageous moments but I imagine that by today's standards, some will complain about there being a bisexual woman character who is incredibly crude and I won't repeat her dialogue as some of it is quite vulgar, although creative and colorful it was.

Thankfully this was well shot by Eastwood, with some iconic imagery, especially in the final act. Speaking of that word... this is where a line that quickly entered pop culture was used; early on Dirty Harry utters “Go ahead, make my day” and that immediately became one of his trademarks. A film like this won't be to all tastes and it could be a real turn-off for some. Me, it was nice remembering all those silly moments, and how overall you could even say this was... swell.

Blair Russell liked these reviews