Riding high on the back of Rocky, Sylvester Stallone didn’t find a second franchise until First Blood; Nighthawks was originally planned as a French Connection sequel until it was tailored to Stallone’s tough guy persona. Directed by Bruce Malmuth, Nighthawks sees NYC cop Deke DaSilva tracking down ruthless terrorist Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer), with assistance from Billy Dee Williams and the late Nigel Davenport.
Nighthawks is a good little action film, not overblown and with some tense sequences, including a nightclub shootout and a memorably efficient ending. Wulfgar’s character is particularly interesting with a clinical rationale for his actions and a belief that his brand of terrorism equals liberation in the long run. He gets short shrift from a bearded Stallone, making for a gripping, involving cat and mouse game.