Tightrope (1984)

Article 5075 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-9-2016
Directed by Richard Tuggle
Featuring Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold, Dan Hedaya
Country: USA
What it is: Crime thriller

A New Orleans cop, divorced with two children, finds himself investigating killings caused by a serial killer with a taste for kinky sex…a taste that the cop shares, and which the killer knows about…

This is an interesting movie that hovers somewhere between a slasher film, a crime movie, and a character study. Oddly enough, the first half of the movie mostly emphasizes the last of those genres, drawing parallels between the serial killer and the cop and giving Clint Eastwood a chance to forge a complex and interesting character as he dabbles in the world of kinky sex. This half of the movie is pretty intriguing, and it left me wondering just where it was going to go with this theme. In truth, I ended up being a little disappointed that the second half reminds itself that it is a crime movie, and it starts going exactly where you’d expect a crime movie of this sort to go; with two children and a new girlfriend as characters, to whom do you expect the serial killer is eventually going to turn his attentions? It even begins dabbling in slasher cliches before it’s all over. So I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by the movie as a whole, but it is still redeemed by an excellent performance by Eastwood as well as a good one by Bujold, and, taken as a crime film, it is fairly exciting and suspenseful, and I have to admit I enjoyed it.

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