If you love The French Connection, Serpico, and The Day of the Jackal— you’ll really like Nighthawks
Stallone is clearly imitating Pacino here, has Serpico’s facial hair, undercover NYC cop (dressing up multiple times to blend in here undercover). It’s easy to see a picture of Stallone in drag here with a gun and laugh and no he’s not Pacino—but he’s actually really strong here.
Great depth of field shot with the heist man right in front of the frame in profile in the opening
International terrorist (a magnificent Rutger Hauer) a half-decade before Alan Rickman (1988) in Die Hard. Hauer’s character is ruthless, smart- has plastic surgery to shed beard and brown eyes and go back to trademark blue. A tagline “you go to a better life” before he kills
Billy Dee Williams is miscast a little. Lando—Mr. Smooth, handsome- tough to see as a gritty NYC cop
Stallone again playing a Vietnam vet with baggage – this is one year before First Blood (1982)
Nigel Davenport strong in support as the British counter-terrorism specialist
A great scene of Stallone looking around a nightclub for Hauer to Rolling Stones “Brown Sugar”—he’s studied Hauer’s face, a nice shot, reverse shot back and forth between the two when there’s recognition.
Nice shot of the UN HQ building – foreground/background shot
And to the French Connection comparison (besides being gritty NYC cops) there I a long chase scene at 54 minutes- even through a subway (post of French Connection) and cat and mouse getting off and on as door close.
Doesn’t reinvent the wheel or have aims at a top 10 slot but it is a solid recommend – a very good film