One of Sylvester Stallone’s best films and best performances, it’s a shame this movie doesn’t get talked about more. It’s got a good script and smart writing—all adding up to a tension-filled brilliantly executed modern cat and mouse film.
First up are the characters. We get a great array of both heroes and villains all accumulating to a fully realized cast. Our lead hero, Stallone, is a more complex character than you would expect in a terrorist-driven action film. He has problems at home and when dealing with a terrorist on this scale, his human aspects lead to some great development and character interaction. He’s a down to earth character we can follow as we dive deeper into this intense hunt for a derange terrorist.
Stallone is joined by Billy Dee Williams who has an instant and fiery chemistry with Stallone. The pair interject captivating dialogue and friendship that will give you a pair of likable and rootable protagonists. The villain is as admirable. Rutger Hauer is a formidable foe as Blade Runner who most fans know. He’s a sadistic, intimidating, and relentless killer. All this combined with a powerful performance from Hauer makes for an unforgettable villain that rings all that much scarier in today’s world.
The plot is equally laudable. It’s a smartly written game of cat and mouse with some edge of your seat moments. Everyone is forced to change and adapt as the story moves along, making for some great development for both hero and villain. The finale for this film in particular is an adrenaline-induced, high-octane perfection. It never becomes too much like a Die Hard movie or too serious like A Most Wanted Man. Rather it’s a perfect blend of the two making for a viewing experience everyone can enjoy.
Overall, Nighthawks is some of the finest work in Stallone’s filmography. His tour de force performance as well as the stellar cast combined with the smartly written story is relevant today. It makes for a must watch for fans of this actor. 9.2/10