The Enforcer ★★★½

Geoff T's Dirty Harry Marathon #3
The Enforcer (1976)

I barely remembered anything from this third entry in the Dirty Harry series, and I was hoping a rewatch would give me a more positive view on it. Sadly, not so much. I will say that The Enforcer is another enjoyable outing for the San Francisco detective, but compared to it's predecessors it seemed a bit forgettable, especially for one that claims to be the "dirtiest Harry of them all".

In this installment, we see San Francisco under threat by a militant crime group formed out by radical war veterans, who threaten to blow half the city up with explosives unless they are not given reparations in cash. The villains overall lack threat, and their intentions just aren't made very clear at all. To stop them, Harry is teamed up with a Kate Moore, an incompetent female inspector who is probably the weakest partner Harry is paired with. She could have been a good character, but she just tends to be an annoyance more than anything.

I can say one character who was pretty memorable (if not politically incorrect like most other black characters in the series) was black militant leader Big Ed Mustapha played by Albert Popwell, known for having different roles in each of the four installments in the series. Jerry Fielding fills in for Lalo Schifrin as composer this time around, and while there are some good themes that capture enough of the familiar upbeat 70s vibe, it isn't as memorable as Schifrin's efforts.

Still, The Enforcer definitely has it's moments. Even though I felt it's pacing was too slow and it's villains were pretty weak, it's a satisfying enough entry has it's fair share of good characters and action scenes (in the form of a gun battle on Alcatraz Island). Entertaining, but the weakest of the 70s instalments in my view.


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