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Not the Best Dirty Harry Movie, But Entertaining Enough

  • Mar 13, 2009
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Magnum Force (1973) is the first sequel to the movie Dirty Harry starring Clint Eastwood. Dirty Harry, in some ways, is the apotheosis of the hard-edged cop living on the thin edge between recklessness and police brutality versus fantastic police work and intuitive detective skills. Many have tried to emulate Eastwood's panache in this type of role, but none have matched it. Eastwood's presence on film is what makes these movies worth watching.

Other than the above, Magnum Force is really a rather mediocre movie. Harry Callahan is part of an investigation of the deaths of some of San Francisco's most notorious villains. They turn out to be vigilante cops and Harry, while he makes some mistakes along the way, shows his skill in figuring out who the bad guys are as the plot unfolds. We also get a few gratuitous scenes, that don't advance the story, of Harry knocking off some bad guys in that gung-ho way of his - and enjoying, briefly, some female company. All in good fun.

Overall if you like Eastwood or those tough cop movies, then this is not a great movie, but it's entertaining.

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March 13, 2009
I agree, Magnum Force is one of the more pedestrian Dirty Harry movies. John Milius' screenplay has Eastwood kickin ass as usual, but the Amazon review is right...Ted Post was mainly a TV director and it shows in the way he handled this movie.
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About this movie


This first sequel to Dirty Harry was written by a couple of strong voices, writer-directors Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and John Milius (Farewell to the King). But that doesn't mean the film is particularly good. After Don Siegel's ferociously dark style in the first movie, Ted Post's blocky, television-ish direction in Magnum Force is a huge letdown. The story doesn't win any prizes, either. Eastwood's San Francisco detective Harry Callahan (apparently having retrieved his badge after throwing it away at the end of Dirty Harry) takes on a vigilante squad within the city's police force. David Soul is pretty convincing as the major spokesman for these right-wing avengers. Eastwood, on the other hand, had already turned Callahan from fascinating outsider in Siegel's film to purveyor of tough-guy shtick in this one. --Tom Keogh

Product Description
When a mysterious wave of killings sweeps the Mafia underworld, it's Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan who answers with Magnum Force. Despite a demotion by Lt. Neil Briggs for his questionable methods, Harry will stop at nothing to find the killers.
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