Tightrope (1984) Directed by Richard Tuggle. With Clint Eastwood, Genvieve Bujold and Dan Hedaya.
Going into Tightrope, my expectations were set along the lines of a Dirty Harry type experience – but what is on offer is more like a neo-noir sleazy Harry. On paper that isn’t such a bad proposition, but sadly it’s a cop-on-the-hunt-of-a-serial-killer thriller that plays out like a middling episode of ’80’s television series The Equalizer, only about sixty minutes longer. Zzzz.
Naturally, Clint Eastwood (Wes Block as he’s called here) is our daring cop, while the killer in question is a mysterious mask-wearing Scooby Doo escapee who we never fully see until the end reel. Twice in the film we witness the murderer lurking yards away from Wes – even at a crime scene seemingly taunting our hero. Like any good pantomime, you’re just itching to yell out – “He’s behind you!”.
For the most part it’s a straight up affair that depicts Wes on one hand a devoted father, and on the other – an arrogant, sex-obsessed womaniser. Not nearly enough is done to make Eastwood’s character come to life, giving way to a strong sense of viewer apathy. There are a few light-hearted moments between him and his two young daughters, but none of this amounts to a great deal and inevitably, it all feels flat with a series of predictable murders, plodding pacing and a laughable finale. 1.5/5