Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tightrope' sees Eastwood as
a more three-dimensional hardnosed cop

Tightrope (1984)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold, Dan Heydeya and Alison Eastwood
Director: Richard Tuggle
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

When New Orleans homicide detective Wes Block (Eastwood) is assigned to investigate a series of killings in the seamier side of the French Quarter, he discovers that the killer is preying not just on female sex workers but on the darker side of Block's own nature.

"Tightrope" is a fabulous movie. It unfolds like a classic film-noir detective story, and while I think it was a tad too slowly paced at times, it still managed to keep my interest throughout. The most fascinating part of the movie, however, is the character of Wes Block. It's probably one of the most fully rounded, completely realized, and utterly believable characters to ever appear in a detective flick. While the hunt for the serial killer that drives the movie is interesting, the real heart of the film resides with Block, his two daughters (one of which is played by Eastwood's real-life daughter Alison, who displays much talent at a young age), and the one decent woman he hooks up with while investigating the crimes (Bujold).

This is a different sort of Clint Eastwood crime drama, about a different sort of detective. It's a film that all lovers of police dramas should see.

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