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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nighthawks - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Rutger Hauer and Lindsay Wagner - Released in 1981

This 1981 film was directed by Bruce Malmuth, and is about two hardworking cops, who don’t always believe in playing by the rules but are dedicated to law enforcement. Detective Sergeants Deke DeSilva (Sylvester Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Billy Dee Williams) are Men Friday for the LAPD - assault team, sniper team – they’re always in demand!

Across the globe, Heymar Reinhardt, a noted terrorist also known as Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer) carries out the heinous bombing of a departmental store in London. Few days later, DeSilva and Fox carry out a raid on an alleged drug cartel’s kiosk. They have already been compromised, unbeknownst to them, by two members of the LAPD, shedding light on the rot within the system.

Wulfgar’s financer and handler - Mercer, is upset with him because a number of women and children were killed in the attack, and as a result, he withholds the payment to be made to Heymar. This upsets the terrorist, and in a bid to flee police, ends up murdering his contact - Kenna. He travels to Paris, to meet Shakka Holland (Persis Khambatta), who comments that killing Kenna was a bad move - for Wulfgar’s passport was found on his body, infact, Kenna was a willing associate and killing him has served no purpose other than creating problems.

The murder has alienated Wulfgar from his own peers as well, who see him as a traitor. In a desperate bid to flee the authorities and avoid arrest, the terrorist undergoes surgery to alter his appearance - predictably, he murders the surgeon, post the operation. After this he escapes to New York City. Meanwhile, DeSilva and Fox are reassigned to serve in a special task unit - ATAC, an anti terrorist outfit put together by an Interpol officer Peter Hartman (Nigel Davenport). Opposing Hartman’s shoot at sight and shoot to kill policies, DeSilva voices his opposition, stating he is a policeman, not a hired assassin.

Wulfgar, feeling safe in the US, starts planning his next move. He finds a safe house with Pam, a flight attendant. He discloses to her his true identity although withholding his name, ironically, she thinks he’s joking. The terrorist decides to make his presence felt by bombing locations near Wall Street. While he is away, Pam uncovers the cache of weapons in their apartment. Wulfgar murders Pam - her death is the first clue he leaves behind for Hartman and DeSilva.

Unable to identify him after his surgery, police are incapable of arresting Wulfgar, who plans a hostage crisis, and escapes narrowly, but not before he slashes Fox’s face - this infuriates DeSilva who vows to kill him no matter what. Shakka, now in the USA, keeps Wulfgar informed of every move made by the NYPD & US authorities, and tells him that the UN delegation has given a description of him as well. She also tells him his allies back in Europe are still miffed with him, to the extent that they do not wish to hire him again. Upset, the two plan their move to deal with the police and ATAC.

A UN Conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is target for the terrorist; Shakka attends the meet in disguise, cornering Hartman and killing him, she then teams with Wulfgar to hijack the UN reps - Wulfgar even kills the French ambassador’s wife in full view of the police chopper and DeSilva. On their way to escape the police and the detectives, Shakka makes a run for it, but is gunned down - Wulfgar escapes once more - and makes his way to Irene’s house (Lindsay Wagner) – DeSilva’s ex wife. As luck would have it, the cop is already there, and he shoots Wulfgar dead.

A tiresome and long winded story, with forgettable performances, the film wasn’t well received by audiences either.

Nighthawks - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Rutger Hauer and Lindsay Wagner - Released in 1981

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