Magnum Force ★★★★

Interesting to watch the documentary accompanying this dvd, wherein several notable Hollywood filmmakers and screenwriters weigh in on why they believe in Dirty Harry as a character is a hero. One of the interviewees even insists that he's a liberal on most issues except when it comes to police work, basically insisting that cops should have free reign when it comes to making arrests or pulling their gun, or else we would devolve into anarchy. Now that 2013 and 2014 (and many other years) have happened, I wonder if this free license for cops to make up their own rules would still hold weight for this guy.

I think that's also the point of MAGNUM FORCE in particular, which is as anti-fascist as a Dirty Harry movie could ever hope to be. In Harry's world in this film, he never once fires on anyone that isn't firing at him or brandishing a weapon of some kind or making a direct threat on a person's life. He is also against the shooting of bystanders or unarmed people, even if those happen to be cops themselves. And even though he hates the system, he'll still abide by it and turn in dirty cops rather than cover for them solely on the basis that they are fellow police officers. I'm not sure that this is the intent that the filmmakers had when making it, but the character of Dirty Harry in this film is much more sober and law-abiding when contrasted against the harsh and unscrupulous reality of modern law enforcement.