Nighthawks Film Details
Overview: When one of Europe’s most lethal terrorists shows up in New York, an elite undercover cop is assigned to take him down by any means necessary.
Tagline: A terrorist holds New York in a grip of fear – and only Stallone can take him on.
Review: Nighthawks is a great 80s crime thriller, in a similar vein to Dirty Harry and the French Connection (Nighthawks was originally going to be called “The French Connection III”), made in 1981 Nighthawks is one of Stallone’s early films, made when he was a rising star after Rocky and Rocky II, but before the Rambo films. The story follows a German terrorist called Heymar Reinhardt (A.K.A “Wulfgar”), played by Rutger Hauer, who has little interest in any terrorist attacks he commits other than getting his name in the media, his complete disregard for life and sadistic nature makes him a sought after soldier-of-fortune for many terrorist organisations across the world, and Detective Sargent Deke DeSilva (Stallone), an undercover cop who is transferred to a special NYPD-Interpol task force dedicated to bringing Wulfgar down, whom Interpol believes to be in New York. Helping DeSilva track Wulfgar down is a British counter-terrorist specialist called Peter Hartman (Nigel Davenport), a man who has had dealt with Wulfgar in the past and knows his tricks and his M.O. Wulfgar has fled to America after killing an IRA man called “Kenna”, after a job in London, causing the IRA to place a hit on Wulfgar. Wulfgar learns dignitaries of the United Nations are on a visit to New York, and sees an opportunity to get his name in the media once more. He bombs some buildings in New York’s financial district, in an effort to spread fear, causing the U.N delegates to demand special police protection, the next night DeSilva and his partner Matthew Fox (Billy De Williams) find Wulfgar in a nightclub, which he usually goes to find a woman he can persuade to take him home with her so he can hide his weapons stash in her house, they chase Wulfgar through the subway but Wulfgar gets away, not before injuring Fox. The next day Hartman is killed by Wulfgar’s accomplice, Shakka Holland (Persis Khambatta), at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, during a U.N visit to the museum. The U.N then board a tram to Roosevelt Island, Wulfgar and Shakka hijack the tram and hold the delegates hostage. As revenge for the subway chase the night before Wulfgar kills the wife of the French ambassador, but not before demanding DeSilva come and see it for himself. Wulfgar decides he wants an infant taken off the tram, DeSilva takes the infant off the tram, but before i does he demands to know why Wulfgar killed the woman, “I wanted to” the sadist replies, DeSilva asks if Wulfgar will kill him, “All in good time” Wulfgar replies. Wulfgar has demanded a bus take them to the airport where a jet will be waiting for him, police snipers are in position, DeSilva is ready to take the shot and end this terrible affair. Shakka is killed in a gunfight, and Wulfgar drives the bus into the East River whilst under fire, but escapes. Wulfgar, furious that his plan has been ruined, heads to the house of DeSilva’s ex-wife Irene (Lindsay Wagner), he sees who he thinks to be Irene enter the house, he breaks in and gets ready to stab her in the back, Irene spins around and points a gun at Wulfgar, revealing it to be DeSilva dressed up in his ex-wife’s clothes and one of her wigs. Cornered and with no-where to go Wulfgar lunges at DeSilva but DeSilva shoots him, Wulfgar goes crashing through Irene’s front door and down into the street outside. An excellent film, with a nice blend of action, crime fighting, investigation etc, this film also offers a few sad parts, like when it is learnt children were killed in the London department store bombing, causing the IRA to refuse payment to Wulfgar, and when the wife of the French ambassador is executed. Definitely one of the most under-rated films of the 1980s!
Language: English, German, French, Swedish
Duration: 99 min
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
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