Magnum Force

The bloody, brutal sequel to DIRTY HARRY. This time, Clint Eastwood doesn't speak for vigilante justice, and he slaughters those who do. But he's the same emotionless hero, who lives and kills as affectlessly as a psychopathic personality. The setting is San Francisco, but, as in the spaghetti Westerns, Eastwood's gun power makes him the hero of a totally nihilistic dream world. Ted Post's direction is mediocre; the script by John Milius and Michael Cimino is cheaply effective. The villains this time are a Nazi-style elite cadre of clean-cut, dedicated cops (with a prim Führer-Hal Holbrook) who have taken the law into their own hands and are assassinating the labor racketeers, the drug dealers, and the gangsters. The movie is full of what in a moral landscape would be sickening scenes of death-for example, a huge metal girder smashes right into a man's face. Here, the audience is meant not to empathize but to say "Wow!" The ugliest scene: a black pimp's murder of a black whore, which is staged for a turn-on erotic effect. With Felton Perry, Mitchell Ryan, Adele Yoshioka, and, as the young neo-Nazis, David Soul, Tim Matheson, Robert Urich, and Kip Niven. Warners.
see Reeling.