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 model 29 against a red background, a shot that the video game Lethal Enforcers would take years later- and playing an opening tune that I still can't decide as being really awesome or annoying, the movie begins.
This is a John Milius story and the tone is set up right away. A crooked mobster is being set free cause of a technicality in court and got off scot free. The public is outraged and so is one cop and he finds the mobster and guns him and his party down.
When I first saw the movie, I wasn't too surprised with what I saw. I knew that there were 5 Dirty Harry movies and in ONE of those movies there would have to be a foe that is a sort of antithisis to Harry's ideals in law enforcement.
The cast was nice and cast well. I don't remember any one performance that stood out and made me take extra special notice but none of the actors were bad either.
The story is put together nicely and unfolds well. I would have liked to see more fingers pointed at Harry, you know the cop who likes to bend the rules and shoot bad guys with a magnum and plays loose with civil rights? Well that's who are villains are here. Can Harry pass judgement on them for doing something that he would probably want to do? Simply, Harry even sums it up in a scene by saying that "It's our only system and someone needs to come along with a better idea. Until then I'll follow the rules." A little more discussion on this topic would have been welcome to flesh out Harry's ideals and motives. The popular mind is that Harry would shoot anyone who moves who commits a crime, but clearly that isn't quite the case.
The pros are that as far as the story goes, it is an important piece of Dirty Harry's lore. The cowboy cops who take justice into they're own hands. Young hot shots who are good shots with big guns and take out untouchable criminal scum. How can Harry fight back against them? Any downside is as I said going to come into play with only saving some moments towards the end of the film for discussion on the subject of Harry's ideals and those of his enemies. Yeah it got a quick discussion but it felt like an after thought
Fans of the Dirty Harry movies will like it and anyone else out there who likes Eastwood's work will find something to enjoy also. Out of all the Dirty Harry movies, this is one of the better ones but it's food for thought is left behind like parsley at the snack bar at the airport Harry visits.
What did you think of this review?