The fourth entry in the lucrative Directorty Harry series, Sudden Impact is a brutally hard-hitting policier which casts Clint Eastwood as audiences like to see him, as the toughest guy in town.
Sudden Impact sends Harry out of his normal jurisdiction in San Francisco to research a case with connections to coastal San Paulo. While there, he bumps into Sondra Locke, who is extracting her own brand of vengeance on a group of individuals who, some years back, savagely raped both her and her younger sister.
Local police chief Pat Hingle tries to bar Harry from behaving as usual in his community, but that doesn’t prevent a slew of shootings.
This is the first entry in the series to have been directed by Eastwood himself, and action is put over with great force, if also with some obviousness. Locke looks astonishingly like Tippi Hedren did in Hitchcock’s Marnie and, with the exception of a sympathetic black cop played by Albert Popwell, nearly everyone else in the cast represents a menace to Harry in one way or another.