Nov 3, 2009

Sudden Impact

My forehead feels of plastic and Sudden Impact is yet another movie to add to the list of "Should have seen ages ago but only recently viewed." Dirty Harry, as you all know is surely a must-see and the very definition of renegade action cinema of both the eighties and nineties. Harry Callahan is a "psychopath with a badge" and a vigilante to end all vigilantes. While he encompasses that emotionless murderer that we all know and love, he also possesses a keen sense of his surroundings and is able to perform the most badass of detective skills while never losing his highlight of impeccable masculinity and taut stoicism within his frail old frame. Sudden Impact features Dirty Harry in another one of those "right man in the wrong time" devices that became so popular with the appearance of Die Hard - who cares which came first. Dirty Harry, for his own sake, is the silver screen tough guy to end most tough guys. Not even The Punisher who shares a similar interest in eliminating the baddies with little or no respect for life can touch the cold street smarts of Dirty Harry.

What separates Dirty Harry's character formula is many things but the most infamous of all these is his expansive arsenal of one-liners and the ability to transform these one-liners, to completely convert the term into more of a verbal epitaph to do anything but honour the passing scumbag. It's these vanished assets that are missing from the modern action film. With John Cena films being released (along with the mystery of why on earth are these funded,) It seems that violent charisma, probable anti-heroes, and enough machismo to drown a hippopotamus are just a few of the things not to be found in today's hollow cinema. There's not really many other ways to put how Sudden Impact prevails as a classic in unbridled action and attitude. Take this clip in for example. Dirty Harry's character clearly predated Eastwood's role in Gran Torino. A shame that this time, in his prime, he didn't graphically call out these "spooks" for their thieving ways. I'm surprised these jolly-jive Negroes were holding up a diner instead of stealing TVs and bicycles and I'm pretty sure Dirty Harry was too, sucka!

R.I.P. Action
This dearly departed niche of "too cool for school" rowdiness will be succinctly missed.

Sudden Impact is commonly referred to as "the dirtiest of Dirty Harry" and these claims along with dignified visual evidence lead me to back these assumptions and opinions up with my own signature agreeing so. Never mind the fact that Sudden Impact is the only Dirty Harry film I can remember watching the whole way through. From the synopsis alone, mentions of a rape victim executing those responsible for her brutal attack clearly reminded me of a certain exploitation title many of you know as I Spit on Your Grave - Including generalizations, most of the rape/revenge sub genre will be grouped in as well. As the San Fransisco police department cleverly call this armed feminine attacker Cockshot, the same moniker can be slapped on most of these estrogen dripping "classics" as well. While I'll allow for this "Day of the Woman," It's painfully obviously that women get the short end of the stick during most, if not all, of modern horror films. Back in the 60s and 70s, however, that simply was a shocking sight to behold as most of these beautiful retro -chic broads were damsels in distress. What sets Sudden Impact apart from most of these sexploitation titles is the implied rehabilitation with a dose of Harry Callahan as she watches the legend "exact justice the necessary way," and a sympathetic "anti-heroine." I find it incredibly uncommon to witness a vengeful female with whom I can express pity for. In most of these films such as Fiona, Baise Moi, and Last House on the Left, I wish to express my compassion towards these brutalized women but I can find nary an evidence of humanity. Sure, these gorgeous shells are people but in a way, their very life was a lifeless one at that. Sudden Impact not only features heart-stopping action with an implied gut-wrenching clinical reaction with its rape scene, but it also will stop no less than entertaining the hell out of you until its ending.

To return with a new paragraph, sleazy femme fatales always have a way of absorbing screen time but the result is merely a bag of shock and awe, no more, nor less. Substance is void and materialization of flesh is the only thing about this film. I always knew sex and violence sold but the further proof materialized with that of my discovery of the rape/revenge genre. Sick sonuvabitches worldwide rent these films to gawk, uncomfortably aroused as these innocent delights are forced into lurid sex acts, witness slowly their decomposition as their soul evaporates. Once your morbid curiosity is fulfilled as soon as the group of males reach their climax, you claim to never have been interested in the opening act as it is "misogynistic" and can't wait for the revenge. For me, I always found the beginning of rape/revenge films the most important act and to see such good carnal choreography go to utter waste with "refeminization" is a disgust to the psychosexual madness that lurks within. This sexual justice is only known for it being over the top schlock and even the most defensive feminist could not argue these facts. Sudden Impact is a film with brass, a cunning lead who mastered to art of a ice cold stare, and enough gun play to please even the most cynical fan of John Woo.


No comments: