Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nighthawks (1981) Review:

Thrillers are a genre that is supposed to get the viewer's blood pumping harder than usual. They're not always as gruesome as the horror genre movies but the point is to create high tension. Unfortunately I barely felt any tension between scenes in this film. And that's only one part that could have been improved.

Stallone & Lando Calrissian (as we all know him)
To start off, Sylvester Stallone plays Deke DaSilva, a discharged soldier of the U.S. army who now is a cop in New York City. DaSilva cares about the safety of the innocent, yet he's too weak to pull a trigger on a villain. Why? He's nervous that he'll cause collateral damage. Well DaSilva, since you were apart of the army at one point, you should know then, that friendly fire isn't uncommon. Partnered up with Stallone is Billy Dee Williams or as everyone else knows him as, Lando Calrissian, plays a character called Matthew Fox. Both actors play their parts but I don't see any personal connection to them. Are they old pals? Or do they just work together really well?

As for the antagonist of the plot, making a thriller requires one who has no conscious, and Rutger Hauer shows that perfectly. Hauer plays an international terrorist named Wulfgar and once the viewer sees how he acts, they will understand how he has no remorse. Wulfgar is a real jerk and he will make the audience hope that he dies a painful death. Thankfully, he does but I won't say how...obviously.

Doesn't he Hauer look like a jerk?
The execution of the story, I wasn't pleased with. I know it can take time to build tension but look at The Mean Season (1985), no more than twenty minutes into the film, tensions begin to rise. It took almost half the film before Fox and DaSilva FINALLY run into Wulfgar. What's happening before this? Wulfgar is bombing other places in Europe, while DaSilva and Fox are busy learning in a class that teaches them how to fight terrorists. Seriously, how much slower could this thriller go? Maybe if Wulgar somehow slipped into the police station and started making a ruckus, then that would create some nice tension. But director Bruce Malmuth felt that featuring what's happening on two opposite ends of the world can create tension. How does that make any sense?

When the movie approaches its second half, the audience will finally get to see SOME interesting scenes. Some parts, I'll admit, I've never seen happen in other films before but there weren't too many. For example, at one point, there was a long chase scene and it seemed to go on forever. The last thing I really could not grasp was the background music. Keith Emerson provides the music to this film and it lacks a lot of importance. It sounded more like it belonged to action scenes from the Television series of The A-Team. Music is supposed to help create feelings and I didn't feel anything.

Paul Sylbert's story doesn't seem to make an effective transition onto the big screen. A callous music record, and slow moving scenes can make this thriller not very thrilling at all.

Points Earned --> 5:10

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