Magnum Force ★★★★

Geoff T's Dirty Harry Marathon #2
Magnum Force (1973)

Dirty Harry returns, in this bigger and badder sequel that's better than I remembered. Don Siegal is filled in by director Ted Post, who also directed the Eastwood western outing Hang Em' High. Sequels are either hit or miss, but Magnum Force manages to be a very solid follow-up that has enough charm of the original without being a complete rehash.

With Harry back on the force, San Francisco this time begins to come under fire by a group of vigilante biker cops who seek to take the law into their own hands, violently taking out those they believe have escaped justice. With the deaths surrounding many degenerates of the streets such as mobsters and pimps, Harry and his new black partner Early Smith (played by Felton Perry who would later feature in RoboCop over a decade later) are set to investigate and figure out who is responsible, eventually finding out it may be someone closer to Harry than he thinks.

Being a sequel, Magnum Force has a longer runtime, bigger action and more violence. There's a much higher bodycount with very little bloodshed omitted, a bigger amount of gunfights, chases, and just in general more scenes of Harry taking care of street punks. Lalo Schifrin again delivers his rhythmic, upbeat music themes that perfectly fit the movie's upbeat and often gritty police theme.

Even on it's own, this is an action-thriller that delivers. It's probably just as entertaining as the original if not more so in some ways. The only problem I had with it was it's rather elongated runtime and it's sometimes slow pacing that made the movie feel longer than it is. Otherwise, this is most likely the best as far as the sequels go, easily one of my favorites.


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