Sudden Impact ★★★★

The fourth entry in the Dirty Harry series sees our titular hero in the middle of a rape and revenge flick! It takes a while to settle, but the main plot sees Harry investigating a series of killings carried out by a rape victim turned vigilante. This idea blends well with Harry's singular approach to justice shown throughout the series. Both central characters believe in getting justice their own way and don't trust the state to achieve it in a satisfactory manner. Because this is a Dirty Harry film, there's all the usual shootouts and car chases etc and most of these are superfluous to the main thrust of the film, and it does leave it feeling overlong and a bit of a mess. But somehow it doesn't matter so much because the film is constantly entertaining. I love this kind of gritty hard boiled action anyway, so the fact that the two hours of the film feel a bit disjointed didn't bother me in the least. Eastwood was certainly up for playing the role a fourth time (starring and directing) and he receives good support from his huge Magnum and Sondra Locke who stars opposite. The whole rape theme does have some gravitas and the victim character is explored somewhat. I'm not saying it's deep and meaningful but it has a bit more heart that you'd maybe expect from this sort of thing. The symbolism throughout is a bit on the nose but then the film is anything but suttle! Maybe not the overall best of the series but better than part 3. This film is a blast.

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