Sudden Impact ★★★½

Go ahead, make my day.
-Harry Callahan

After The Enforcer took a slight dip in quality (still love it though) it took Dirty Harry seven years and Clint Eastwood in the director's chair for him to come back. It's the first and only Dirty Harry film he directed and I think that's significant for a number of reasons.

First off the film combines themes from the first two films "criminal rights vs victim rights" (Dirty Harry) and the notion of vigilantism as it did in Magnum Force, except this time it isn't a group of off duty police officers, but a survivor of gang rape that is hunting down her assailants.

The survivor out for justice, Jennifer Spencer, is played by Sondra Locke and she's almost as prominently featured in the film as Harry Callahan. It's a bit of a surprise to have a character like this in this franchise considering how it's viewed as very testosterone filled movies.

Her character is very well fleshed out and it's not just a case of seeking vengeance, but she has some moral decisions to make as well. She's almost Dirty Harry's equivalent and it reminded me of Eastwood's first film he directed, Play Misty for Me, where he had a female in the role of the antagonist in the typical setup where it's usually a male in the role, while himself taking the role usually played by the female.

Eastwood plays Harry slightly different as well. He's a bit weary of the violence and seems to need a little more pushing until finally going out for blood. It's also the film where he puts away the .44 Magnum just for a bit and breaks out the monstrous .44 AutoMag, after all the film can bring up all the issues it wants, I still want to see Harry Callahan blow away some bad guys.