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The Dead Pool (1988)

Action & Adventure movie directed by Buddy Van Horn

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The Dead Pool - 1988

  • Sep 10, 2008
Pros: Callahan is the same as always

Cons: ...

The Bottom Line:

“It's your dying day
We all float down here in the dead pool
You'll float too my dear in the dead pool”



Good old Inspector Harry Callahan has always been a favorite of mine and they couldn't have picked a better person to take on the role than Clint Eastwood. This is the final segment in the long running movie series that started with Callahan asking someone if they felt lucky. They haven't bothered to pretty him up any for the movie, his character is just as stoic and gritty as he always was in the past.

With The Dead Pool, we have a series of murders and Callahan is at the heart of the mess. Bodies are dropping right and left and all the people are on some strange list, including Harry's. As the list of people alive starts getting shorter than the ones that are dead, Harry gets to the bottom of things, as only he can.

In this movie he clashes with the press, especially Samantha Walker, played by Patricia Clarkson. Also in this release is Liam Neeson and a brief appearance by Jim Carrey. Since their anthem song was used in the opening scenes, Guns N' Roses makes a cameo appearance at a funeral. Not theirs, by the way. Albert Popwell, who has had a role in all the previous Dirty Harry movies, did not appear in this release. Did they finally kill him off?

The movie was filmed in San Francisco with all those wonderful, if unrealistic, chase scenes. Added to the mix, this go round, is a bomb-wired remote controlled toy car. The body count is fairly good in this one, a respectable 14, which is outstanding for Harry. Of course, they were not all his kills. If memory serves me right, Callahan only wiped out one police car, but he did a fine job of it. He also did some serious damage to the TV crew's cameras, which cost him an apology and dinner with Samantha Walker.

He was also able to glare at his new partner, one of Asian heritage. Things generally don't go well for his partners, but this one managed not only to stay alive but also kick some butt when called on.

It's been a long, hard road for Insp. Callahan, and he is beginning to look the part. Twenty years is a long time to try to keep a role fresh, but they don't even attempt that. Not that this is a bad thing, it is more like how most of us feel after 20 years on the same job. That is one thing I've always liked about Harry. He seems real. Like a human, not an actor. He does things we all want to do when we get really ticked off, but he's allowed to. Well, not really allowed, but he manages to stay on the right side of the bars.

This one was directed by Buddy Van Horn. It received no awards. The general consensus for rating is NC-17, from what I can tell. Actually, from the things that are released today, it's pretty calm. This movie is shown on TV, along with other Dirty Harry's, so you take your cue from that.

See ya later, Harry.



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More The Dead Pool (1988 movie) reviews
review by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Dead Pool was the 5th and final of Dirty Harry's big screen adventures and after the tepidness of Sudden Impact, Harry's swan song could have ended worse.      Harry Calahan is making news after he just put away a major mob figure but wants nothing of the fame he has suddenly gotten or the mob hitmen who continue to harass him.  Meanwhile a schlock film maker  has gotten himself involved with a "dead pool" a list of celebrities who they think are …
Quick Tip by . December 31, 2010
Fun and lighter final outing for Dirty Harry and his adventures in San Fransisco with Harry being put on a list of celebrities marked for death. A little repetitive in places but enjoyable in others.
review by . April 01, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
This is the last of five "Dirty Harry" films in which Eastwood stars as a San Francisco police detective. By the time of its initial release (in 1988), Eastwood had aged and times had changed but Callahan's non-negotiaable values and unorthodox methods had remained essentially the same. In this film, he investigates a pool which attracts bets on which of eight celebrities will be killed. (Several are.) Although this basic premise is implausible, Callahan takes full advantage of every opportunity …
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About this movie


After the drudgery ofSudden Impact, the fourth and worst sequel toDirty Harry, no one could have expected the fifth to have any signs of life. ButThe Dead Poolis fairly inspired, even playful--check out a "chase" scene between Clint Eastwood's Harry Callahan character and a remote-controlled toy car wielding a bomb--and it ended the long-running series on an unexpectedly positive note. This time, Callahan investigates a series of murders that appears to be on a "death list," while becoming romantically involved with a television reporter (Patricia Clarkson). Jim Carrey has a small but memorable part as a doped-up rock star, and Liam Neeson is on board, too. Directed by Eastwood surrogate Buddy Van Horn (Any Which Way You Can).--Tom Keogh
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Director: Buddy Van Horn
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 1988
DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
Runtime: 91 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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