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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Sudden Impact tends to be treated as Eastwood's artistic failure at a point in his career when he had established a good reputation as a director. The reason is actually not the film itself but the attitude it takes towards vigilantism which it seems to support. In some places it actually owes more to Death Wish than the original Dirty Harry film. One might argue if that...
Published on 26 July 2007 by TKr

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What Happens to the Ugly Dog? I Think We Should Be Told.
I suppose you could try to see it as the comedy it sometimes wants to be, as if Clint was really just a bit uneasy about the truly dire dialogue and scenery-chewing 'acting' that most of the actors are required to deliver. Superman sans cape and underpants but horrible sunglasses, sneers his way through a plot with more holes than my old string vest and which doesn't seem...
Published 4 months ago by Mario


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 26 July 2007
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This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
Sudden Impact tends to be treated as Eastwood's artistic failure at a point in his career when he had established a good reputation as a director. The reason is actually not the film itself but the attitude it takes towards vigilantism which it seems to support. In some places it actually owes more to Death Wish than the original Dirty Harry film. One might argue if that is so- at the end of the day it's a film about guilt, justice and retribution. For me, at the end of the day it's more empathy than sympathy. However, in view of all these arguments it is easily overlooked that sudden impact is an awfully well made film. Forget the "Go ahead punk, make my day scene", that's iconic but not original. But look at the views of San Fransisco taken from the air, zooming in on the city. The first 15 or 20 minutes are quite spectacular. Or have a look at the brilliantly made scene where Sondra Locke's character visits her mentally ill sister in hospital. Eastwood makes great use of the juxtaposition of faces. So all in all Sudden Impact is a very visual film that really shows how mature Eastwood is as a director. And if I remember correctly it was actually the first time Eastwood put that on screen albeit in an action film of debatable ideology. Also, I think this is the first well paced film Eastwood directed. Although Eastwood has enormous talent as a director, dramaturgy has always been his weak point (see Play Misty for me, Breezy etc.) Thepace of the narrative leads to the visual elements being well integrated into the film and not distracting from the story. The only thing that is really annoying is the farting dog.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of the Dirty Harry series, but it does have some great moments, 4 Sept. 2009
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The first 30 or so mins of this film are classic Dirty Harry, plenty of action and some brilliant lines. Unfortunately the film slows down later on, with too many slow and sensitive bits for my liking. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not looking for mindless action in a film, I just mean that Clint (who directed this film) tries a bit too hard to inject meaning into the actions of Sandra Locke (his co-star and girlfriend).

Overall it is an enjoyable film with some outstanding one liners from Clint, though I admit I did press the fast forward button a few times in the second half.

The blu ray transfer is sharp, with some scenes looking like they were done today. However, some of the camera work is a bit blurry and out of focus. I would say a definite improvement over the DVD and definitely worth getting if you don't have it on DVD already. The sound is offered in 2.0, 5.1 and also 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. I used the TrueHD sound and found it good (although bizarrely quieter than the 5.1 track, I had to crank up the volume on my amp).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What Happens to the Ugly Dog? I Think We Should Be Told., 18 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
I suppose you could try to see it as the comedy it sometimes wants to be, as if Clint was really just a bit uneasy about the truly dire dialogue and scenery-chewing 'acting' that most of the actors are required to deliver. Superman sans cape and underpants but horrible sunglasses, sneers his way through a plot with more holes than my old string vest and which doesn't seem to care a tick about anything resembling believability or truth. The appalling racial stereotypes, the appalling almost sub-Michael Winner attitudes (is that possible?), the appalling dispatching of all the grotesques as if to leave California cleaned up for pretty people, all of this points to the nadir of a career which, thankfully, began to redeem itself soon after. I wonder if he sometimes wonders if all that "killing" might have left the world slightly less well-off? What kinds of people could really enjoy this is a question which might occasionally have crossed your mind. What about the poor actors who seem to have disappeared to a man and woman afterwards? Poor old Bradford Dillman - second billed and 2 minutes on screen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Harry Is Back!, 7 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is a somewhat drastic change of tone from the previous ‘Dirty Harry’ films. It’s set 7 years after 1976’s ‘The Enforcer’, and so Eastwood is now out of the sardonic, brutal tone of the 70s and into the action era of the 80s. This has changed Callahan, looking and acting more like the dinosaur of old policing amongst new methods and new tactics. It’s not a bad thing, but this is almost like the continuation of the Michael Caine character of Harry Palmer in ‘Midnight In St. Petersburg’ and ‘Bullet To Beijing’. Same character, but far older and playing in a different era.

During the film, it’s Locke who keeps the main theme of brutal revenge going as she systematically picks off her rapists one by one, and during this Callahan sees to be always one step behind, never appearing to be hot on her heels like he was with the likes of Scorpio back in 1971. He has other crimes to deal with and thugs to contend with, but there seems to be too much thrown his way for him to focus on the main narrative until the 3rd act, which picks up the pace better than the middle half.

The characters are typical Eastwood – nasty, foul-mouthed and complex. You love the good guys and despise the villains, which is great development. They’re not new to the genre, but they do the job well and make for some brutal moments.

Lalo Schifrin provides a fitting score to help carry the film along under Eastwood’s witty and beautiful direction. However, this just doesn’t feel like one of the Harry Callahan films we’ve been used to as it tries too hard to take him out of his comfort zone and throw him up against multiple threats. Even in the well-staged finale, it’s a blend of old and new iconic moments which works really well, but Eastwood has Callahan almost mellowing out in his old age due to his policing decision in the final few frames.

The Callahan of old would have made a far tougher decision back in the day. But, rest assured, he still punches a woman in the face, so he’s not changed THAT much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars They got what they deserved, 24 Feb. 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
We can credit Clint Eastwood with bringing the Dirty Harry series back from the precipice, after the resounding thud of "The Enforcer."

This time, Dirty Harry himself took control of the moviemaking process. "Sudden Impact" has a more polished, sleek filming style, but Clint Eastwood's tight, brutal direction and steely-eyed performance make this as gritty a 80s noir as you can ask for. And like the best movies of this series, it dances along the fine line between law and justice.

"Dirty" Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is having his usual clashes with the legal system over his butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners style -- especially when he accidentally causes a prominent mobster to drop dead during his own daughter's wedding. Awkward. So Harry is forced to take a vacation, despite the fact that the mobster's hitmen are now out to kill him.

Meanwhile, a young woman named Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke) who was gang-raped along with her sister, is taking bloody gruesome revenge on the men responsible. This isn't much of a spoiler, since she admits this early in the movie. Now Harry finds himself facing vigilante justice vs. a corrupt local police force, and may have to put himself on the line to save a killer.

After the stifling genericness of "Enforcer," it's nice that "Sudden Impact" gets back to the central theme of the Dirty Harry series -- the timeless clash between justice and the law, between vigilantism and corrupt police forces. Between the deadly femme fatale, the prickly anti-hero and the moral murk, it feels very much like a modern noir story.

Clint Eastwood really displayed his directing chops here, long before he became as well known a director as an actor. The direction is sleeker and more polished than the previous three movies, but it's underscored by a sense of bloody chaos that is only lightly held in check. He also knows quite well that we want to see horrendous, repulsive characters get their just desserts, and he unleashes plenty of wonderfully tense action scenes, but a rather bleakly satisfying ending.

And Eastwood really brings in a wicked sense of humor. An early scene involves him casually interrupting a robbery at a diner, claiming that he just came in to gripe about his coffee -- and then he utters one of the two lines that Dirty Harry is known and loved for: "Make my day."

And despite a gap of seven years between these movies, Eastwood seems to have renewed enthusiasm for the role -- Harry is all squinting, prickly gunslinger who exists in his own law-enforcing zone, with his own moral code. He's a truly fascinating character who both scares and fascinates, and Eastwood is absolutely brilliant at showing the character's intricacies.

Sandra Locke is also quite good, playing a pale, shy, sylph-like artist with a cold inner rage -- exactly the last person you can envision going off and killing people. And Paul Drake is absolutely scary as Mick, and every scene containing him leaves you craving his death at... SOMEBODY's hand. Harry or Jennifer, either will do!

"Sudden Impact" yanked the Dirty Harry series back on track, and Eastwood's astounding skills -- both behind and in front of the camera -- are nothing short of amazing. It's a dark, bleak story that is sometimes hard to watch, but definitely worth seeing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Go ahead, write a good script..., 27 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
Easily the worst Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact has neither the elegant plotting and satire of The Dead Pool, or the thematic power and depth of its predecessors. It's really just a cartoonish fantasy; James Bond crossed with a rape-revenge thriller. The characterisation's shallow, and that's putting it nicely. There's no real people in this film, just cardboard cutouts dutifully marching to their predestined fates. Harry Callahan, in particular, becomes a parody of himself. The other films in this series cut it fine with what a supercop Harry is, but there was always a core of realism, a sense that this is a real person, in a real city, doing a real job. Here he's about as gritty and realistic as Roger Moore's Bond. He even has a comic relief pet sidekick.

Scene after scene establish a monotonous rhythm: Harry threatens some crooks; they chase and try to kill him; he kills them; his superiors yell at him. This becomes so routine it's almost parodic, as though Eastwood, who also directed, is slyly mocking the franchise. The storytelling's very weak. Eastwood's ex Sondra Locke plays a gang rape victim who avenges herself, and her traumatised sister, by shooting their rapists in the genitals and head.

Pat Hingle (Comissioner Gordon in Tim Burton's and Joel Schumacher's Batman films) plays the small-town police chief where much of the drama takes place. There's not much else to say, storywise. The rapists are dimly defined and one-note. Audrie J. Neenan plays Ray Parkins, the town tramp who betrayed Locke and her sister, and Paul Drake is Mick, a slobbering sadist. How these people found and relate to each other is never really explained. I think we're just supposed to see them as typical small-town scum.

The Dirty Harry films don't give their antagonists much backstory. Scorpio, for instance, was just a star sign. But they're usually known for their flamboyant personalities. Not so here. Though the heroes aren't much cop, either; Harry's little more than a mindless superhero, and Locke's just Locke, sleepwalking through this pedestrian role which asks nothing of her. Eastwood's clearly a skilled director; there's some beautiful shots and camerawork. As another reviewer pointed out this is a very visual film. Eastwood just needed a much stronger script, one deserving of his visuals.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clint's Magnum Opus, 31 May 2010
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This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
This fourth film of the "Dirty Harry" series sees tough San Francisco cop, Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), on the trail of a ruthless killer who is carrying out a series of revenge murders using a .38 calibre revolver. Harry also has to contend with a bunch of mobsters who want to fill him full of lead because they hold him responsible for the death of their boss.

This film is virtually non-stop action from start to finish with a large amount of humour thrown in as well. It is also worth mentioning though that "Sudden Impact" contains its fair share of bad language and violence (including a flashback rape scene) that may offend some people.

In this movie Harry uses two .44 Magnums - his usual Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver and an awesome Automag Pistol so the bad guys really don't stand much of a chance do they? For me, this is the second best film of the series, after the original "Dirty Harry" (1971), and I particularly liked the ending of this film. The brilliant Argentinian composer Lalo Schifrin once again provided a pulsating music score and Clint was the producer and director as well as the star.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make my day again, 18 Nov. 2008
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
I missed this one until the other day. I like a good vigilante film as you feel that at least all the baddies have got it coming to them.

Harry Callahan is as unreconstructed as ever. He doesn't have time for counselling or dishing out cautions or ASBOs. He hunts down the baddies and deals with them he meets ladies on the way who have been hard done by and for some reason they insist on sleeping with him It cant be for his feminine side or his chat up lines because he hasn't got any.

The characters are drawn well enough that you actually care what happens to the,m Sondra Locke and her sister were raped by the baddies and she sets out to kill them all. Dirty harry ends up helping her out

You get the impression that 1980s San Francisco was a very dangerous place and that the only one who could clean it up was Dirty harry. He was totally misunderstood by all his superiors and were forever trying to suspend him

He only has to go and get his usual cup of coffee than trouble kicks off. He ends up killing almost all of the baddies and handing the last terrified one over tho e his colleagues. He asks various baddies to make his day but sometimes they decline.

When the local gang leader dies he send his boys out with machine guns to get Harry, many hundreds of rounds later they fail to even injure him. Three shots from Harry narrows the odds and the last baddy is lucky enough to get away with his life.

Harry was obviously a forerunner of modern policing as he believes in zero tolerance.

A great film and worth ten out of ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sudden Impact (Blu ray), 18 Aug. 2009
By 
Radders "film mad" (Greencroft, Co. Durham, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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A great film to the series, great picture and sound quality, one gripe wheres the 'Dirty Harry Movies Trailer Gallery' its printed on the sleeve, it's on the other Dirty Harry Films (Blu ray) why not this one?

Is this disc a misprint or has the UK edition been short changed?

Does anyone else have the same problem?
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Go Ahead, Make My Day", 30 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Sudden Impact [DVD] (DVD)
"Go Ahead, Make My Day" These are the famous lines that only one man can say and that man is Clint Eastwood who for the fourth time reprises his role as the famous Harry Callahan.

Sudden Impact is one of the good movies of the Dirty Harry series with Clint Eastwood not only starring in this movie, but he also produced and directed this movie which was quite a big part to play when it comes to making a movie.

Sondra Locke once again gets cast alongside Eastwood as a poor victim of rape who goes round killing the psychos that abused her and her sister at a fairground, though it ends with Eastwood finishing the movie off with his 44 Magnum Automatic to kill the number one psychopath of the whole gang.

Overall I think Sudden Impact is a good movie and for being a Clint Eastwood fan, I have to admit that Eastwood's role as Dirty Harry will always be one of the most popular characters that he has portrayed.

Sudden Impact: 4/5
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Sudden Impact [DVD]
Sudden Impact [DVD] by Clint Eastwood (DVD - 2002)
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