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Sylvester Stallone poaching on Eastwood's turf as a maverick cop on the trail of a psycho killer. It's fast-paced and full of gaudy action, yet it's thoroughly unsatisfying, largely because it's so lazy: once Stallone (also the screenwriter) and director George Pan Cosmatos have sketched out the standard genre archetypes, they leave it at that, not bothering to fill in the niceties of characterization, plausibility, motivation, and suspense. Actually, the film's way of making grandly exaggerated, empty gestures isn't very far removed from the camp aesthetic of the Warhol-Morrissey school: the content has been completely absorbed by formal self-consciousness, leaving only a series of meaningless rhetorical flourishes, which the audience rightly accepts as risible. With Brigitte Nielsen as The Girl and Reni Santoni as The Fallible Sidekick; in the picture's one glimmer of wit, Andrew Robinson, who was the grandfather of all of today's psycho killers in the original Dirty Harry, appears as the police force's official mealymouthed liberal.

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