This is the second of five "Dirty Harry" films in which Eastwood stars as a San Francisco police detective. By the time the last appeared (The Dead Pool in 1988), Eastwood had aged and times had changed but Callahan's non-negotiable values and unorthodox methods had remained essentially the same. In this film, directed by Ted Post with a screenplay co-authored by directors John Milius (e.g. Conan the Barbarian) and Michael Cimino (e.g. The Deer Hunter), the essential premise is that the same legal systems and law enforcement systems to which Callahan so strongly objects have encouraged others to become vigilantes, four of whom serve as police officers under the direct supervision of Lieutenant Briggs (Hal Holbrook). They target and assassinate those whom the "system" has failed to keep off the streets. Of course, Callahan has no sympathy whatsoever for those eliminated. However, he is uncomfortable with the vigilantes' methods (if not their motives) and with what the ancient Greeks -- but not Callahan -- would characterize as their hubris. Eventually, there is the inevitable and obligatory confrontation with them. (Guess who wins?) Those who enjoy this film should also check out The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970), Death Wish (1974), and The Star Chamber (1983) in which Holbrook also appeared.
After a pretty cut and dry ending to the original Dirty Harry, fans were surprised to see this sequel pop up a couple of years later and the ending for the first movie being that Harry had lost his faith in law enforcement. In this movie, the dark nights and mood were lightened up over the original and the foes were cops doing something that you'd almost think Dirty Harry would appreciate. Almost. After the opening shot of Dirty Harry's hand holding his trusty Magnum .44 … more
Dirty Harry is back and battling a group of cowboy cops brandishing magnums and taking out untouchable criminals. The dilemmas that the movie provide Harry get glossed over and could have led to some good arguments about the system.
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 … more
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This first sequel toDirty Harrywas 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 inMagnum Forceis 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 ofDirty 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