Nighthawks is an exciting cops and killers yarn with Sylvester Stallone to root for and cold-blooded Rutger Hauer to hate.
Off and running right from the beginning, director Bruce Malmuth presents a vulnerable woman on a dark NY street about to be mugged. Suddenly the guys with the knives discover the woman is Stallone, on decoy duty and backed up by partner Billy Dee Williams.
While Stallone is doing his best to rid Gotham’s streets of riff-raff, Hauer is introduced in London as one of the most wanted and most murderous terrorists in the world, a crafty, intelligent killer who has fully rationalized his cause to justify blowing up department stores full of innocent victims, including children. This is an American film debut for Holland’s top actor and he plays the part expertly, matching Stallone scene for scene.
Hauer comes to NY accompanied by equally evil Persis Khambatta and pursued by Nigel Davenport, a terrorist expert from Interpol who recruits the assistance of Stallone and Williams.
Though there’s never much doubt how the duel will end, the climax is nonetheless surprising and totally satisfying, topping the energy of the previous pursuit.