Director: Bruce Malmuth, Gary Nelson
Writers: David Shaber, Paul Sylbert

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner
Release Date: April 10, 1981

For my second quarantine movie review, let’s take another stab at a Sylvester Stallone gritty crime flick. The 1981, action crime thriller, Nighthawks.

Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Billy Dee Williams) are New York police officers taken off their local beat and assigned to an anti-terrorism task force. They are tracked with hunting down Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer), who is a clever criminal that uses plastic surgery after every instance to evade capture.

There should have been more Billy Dee Williams. Fox, playing the straighter edge cop, felt so marginalized in the movie, just there to calm DaSilva down and get hurt in the later portions of the movie. This is the only movie Williams did between Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi (1983) and I wish he had more of a chance to shine.

There are two scenes from Nighthawks that I did enjoy, and they are a conjoined. When DaSilva first sees Wulfgar in the club, that clip works very well. Its slow and you can see DaSilva connecting the dots in his head about what’s going to happen. Wulfgar notices he has been spotted, and so begins the chase sequence. Both DaSilva and Fox are running after Wulfgar, and there is one scene where the terrorist is running through a construction yard that is visually stunning. Wulfgar appears so small running away from the tall towers that are casting the shadows. Just a very good-looking shot from directors Bruce Malmuth and Gary Nelson.

I was shocked when I opened the reviews for this movie after seeing it. I did not enjoy the movie nearly as much as I expected. I wanted more Billy Dee Williams. I wanted the ending to be more exciting and less predictable. I wanted more mind games between DaSilva and Wulfgar.

Comparing this to the other Stallone movie I have seen in the past couple days; Nighthawks is not nearly as much fun as Judge Dredd. While Nighthawks may be better written and more expertly made, but it just didn’t tickle my fun buttons.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)

“Nighthawks” IMDB
“Nighthawks” Rotten Tomatoes


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