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You can skip movies 10 times but never go back.
"Dirty" Harry Callahan is a San Francisco Police Inspector on the trail of a group of rogue cops who have taken justice into their own hands. When shady characters are murdered one after another in grisly fashion, only Dirty Harry can stop them.
It looks as though Harry Callahan is doomed never to be able to finish his junk food.
In Dirty Harry, he only gets one bite of his hot dog before it all goes off at a bank nearby. Aww shit. In Magnum Force he gets a few more bites down of a pretty nice looking burger before he involves himself in trying to prevent the hijacking of a plane, but he still doesn't manage the whole thing. At least these events cut some calories out of his diet.
Magnum Force is a hard film to approach in some ways and I think perhaps even more than Dirty Harry it needs to be rewatched. You can very easily come into Magnum…
Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot!
The last time I saw Dirty Harry was about two months ago (in a theater no less!) and ever since I've felt like I wasn't whole. How can one just stop at Dirty Harry? It's unnatural.
See I think Magnum Force is an incredibly underrated sequel. When you hear conversations about the best movie sequels of all time, it's never brought up but it should be. It does what most sequels don't dare to do. Instead of just giving you more of what the original one it flips the script on you and shows you the other side of things.
In Dirty Harry we saw Clint…
Clint Eastwood's second outing as Detective Harry Callahan, for me at least, is better than his debut. Ted Post took over directing duties from Don Siegel, but his film had much of the same tone as the 1971 original. The plot is a simple one however, someone is executing major mobsters and criminals in the city leading to conspiracy theories and fears of a mob war. Eastwood's Harry is still the maverick with his superiors but has a hunch as to the perpetrators of the killings. Hal Holbrook has a pivotal role in proceedings as Harry's Lieutenant with an agenda, and the likes of David Soul, Tim Matheson, and Robert Urich all get the chance to shine behind those mirrored…
A hand holding a gun.
A huge gun.
Against a red backdrop.
The theme music by Lalo Schifrin pounds out of the speakers, building to a crescendo.
Slowly, the hand pulls back and cocks the gun.
The huge gun.
It points toward the screen and a gravelly voice tells you simply what you're looking at and what you can expect from it.
Then it fires.......
Eastwood follows one of the greatest cop movies with another of the greatest cop movies about cops.
And the only thing that can stop them is a cop who is badder than any other.
Do you feel lucky?
I think, considering that Dirty Harry is one of my favourite films of all time, that I should probably take some kind of offence to Magnum Force. It's not even because it's not nearly as good, but more to do with the fact that it takes the character of Harry Callahan to places that I did not want to see him go to in this film's predecessor.
Dirty Harry got Callahan perfect - it's one of the reasons the film is so good. All we see is Callahan the cop. We don't see his home life, we don't know anything about him outside of his profession, and we don't want to know anything about them. So they had a major…
Magnum Force is less a sequel than a term paper about Dirty Harry that remains fascinating by how it just refuses to exists as a fiction feature. The first 90 minutes in particular are a long discussion about the character, its methods and how to approach urban violence that gets interrupted for occasional 5-minute action interludes. It is a rather incoherent text (predictably given how many multiple authors with different agendas it has) and it can be rather facile in how it opposes Harry with an anonymous fascist death squad. Director Ted Post is way over his head, he can straightforward fine, but under this circumstances he moves along between workman like and bouts of laughable heavy hand. He is under his best when just play around with police fetish. Eastwood performance ends up having to do most of the heavy lifting to keep it together. The whole mess remains memorable if barely functional.
The sequel to Dirty Harry. Presuming if you are not a dunderhead or a worshipper of the police state, you should have found Dirty Harry a problematic film – I’m not saying you can’t like it, just that there are problems about liking it. On paper Magnum Force sounds a politically correct version: the villain is not a serial killer but rogue vigilante cops taking the law into their own hands; and Harry no longer makes his tongue in cheek racist remarks but has a black partner. And yet it more obviously champions the blowing away of criminal scum: maybe the difference between this and Dirty Harry is the difference between Ted Post and Don Siegel: Siegel mixed things up…
Yay more detectives!
Yay more Clint Eastwood!
A group of police officers in "Dirty" Harry Callahan's department have taken to vigilantism to punish criminals that they feel have gotten away with their crimes...and only Harry can stop them.
Vacillates between moral murkiness and milquetoast action, with the former being of far greater interest to me. Some interesting stylistic stuff (probably courtesy of Eastwood, who was an uncredited director; the way shots are framed in those fleeting moments of calm before the encroaching violence feel almost like High Plains Drifter), and a genuinely unnerving gun/violence fetishization that I can't help but find beguiling, since Milius was a twisted fuck who flaunted his manly-man obsessions like they're a big fat dick, and Cimino was decidedly not. The script (Cimino rewriting Milius's story, based on an idea by, of all people, Terrence Malick) feels surreally at odds with itself, until it has to settle into good-guy-kills-bad-guy diachotomy at the end, with moral didacticism hijacking the film.
It's a classic and still holds up.
Decent sequel that doesn't quite live up to the original but does its job. Considering the choice of "villains," Harry feels rather nerfed from the first film which sort of hurts his character.
"Nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot."
Makes a distracting break from the original by presenting Harry as a man with friends, a sex life, and a concern for justice beyond the opportunity to empty his spleen--heroically reckless where he was once maniacally reckless. Such is popularity, but Magnum Force still squanders the chance to pit Harry against the cops on his own terms (what would he care?) because he's all for the-best-system-we-have. At least it's got a crackerjack ending. And for as much as I love Team Fortress 2, I wish that it hadn't swallowed up the cultural cache of Schifrin's theme--that opening sequence is still an all-timer, and Magnum Force's best connection with Dirty Harry.
Siegel was so suitable for this material, knowing how to properly complicate Harry’s brutal methods, always scratching at the thin line between police and criminals. Without Siegel’s lifelong commitment to that scenario, this turns into unabashed Eastwood worship - going so far as to have Harry state his banal position on vigilante justice in a climatic speech - and with all ambivalence towards Harry now evaporated, there isn’t much to push us through the second hour when it becomes a generic cop movie (when this was released, however, its excesses might have seemed revolutionary). First hour is still a ton of fun, a completely messy series of catastrophes and women for Harry to navigate - racist crooks at the market,…
70 of my favorite movies from the 70s. In some sort of order.
One day, I'll watch The Godfather: Part…