Tightrope – 3 stars

Clint Eastwood plays a divorced father of two and homicide detective in New Orleans who has a penchant for prostitutes. The prostitutes are murdered, each one shortly after being visited by Eastwood.  Eastwood doesn’t exactly have range, but he is not Dirty Harry in this one (The New York Times dubbed him Kinky Harry).  Rather, he’s a bit of a scared rat, as he realizes that his secret (some form of S&M/bondage; Clint was ahead of his time in these the days of “Fifty Shades of Gray”)  is revealed and worse, he has been unintentionally marking these girls for murder.

Genevieve Bujold is the rape crisis counselor who tries to assist Eastwood professionally in the hunting down of the killer, and emotionally, by turning him from his sexual demons.

It’s a mixed bag.  Eastwood is clearly stretching, which is to be commended, but he never fully commits.  Al Pacino had the same problem in the controversial Cruising, where he was tracking down a killer of gays in the S&M subculture of New York.  Unable to fully get in the skin of their characters, Pacino and Eastwood play it zoned out, which distances the audience.

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