Monday, January 7, 2013


Legendary Russian playwright Anton Chekov once famously remarked that if you show a loaded gun in act one of a drama, it had better damn well go off in act three. Or words to that effect.
By the same token, when you begin a routine actioner such as NIGHTHAWKS by showing Sylvester Stallone in a dress (relax, he's an undercover cop), you just know that when the climax of the film rolls around and bad guy Rutger Hauer is after Stallone's ex-wife (Lindsay Wagner), that it's going to be Stallone (who is only shown from behind) in that blond wig and long bath robe. Yep, got that one right.
NIGHTHAWKS is a 1981 action film co-starring Sylvester Stallone and Billie Dee Williams as two New York City street cops who are recruited to a special counter-terrorism task force in order to combat the menace of Wulfgar (Hauer), a free-lance European terrorist who has moved his base of operations to the Big Apple. It's a semi-interesting look at urban terrorism decades before 9/11.
Along for the ride are Lindsay Wagner (who only appears in about three scenes and must have worked all of two days on the film) and Persis Khambatta (who apparently did have a film career after the disaster of STAR TREK: THE MOTIONLESS PICTURE, albeit not a very lengthy nor successful one).
Everything in this utterly routine film is predictable and by-the-numbers. Absent the violence and profanity, it could have been a made-for-television movie-of-the-week or an episode of any '70s-'80s TV cop show.
NIGHTHAWKS, which I watched yesterday afternoon is totally average, stunningly mediocre and imminently forgettable.

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