Friday, September 7, 2012

Magnum Force (1973)

Dirty Harry Movie #3

Synopsis: One-man-killing-machine cop takes on police department vigilante death squad because... um.... why does Harry do that?

Blurb From the VHS Jacket:Magnum Force’s raw-edged action finds Harry taking on an unusual kind of criminal: the kind who carries a badge. Sharpshooting motorcycle policemen have turned vigilante.”

What Did I Learn?: You can get away with insulting your boss as long as you’re really, really good at what you do, and you volunteer for all the shit jobs.

You Might Like This Movie If: You’ve always wanted to watch the opening credits that inspired the opening credits to ABC’s short-lived Sledge Hammer TV series.  

Really?: 1) I realize it’s 1973, but did hot chicks really approach strange men and ask: “what do I have to do to go to bed with you?” 2) Why would the bad cops put a timer on the bomb when it’s supposed to go off as soon as Harry opens his mailbox? 3) So wait...Harry’s plan to foil a hijacking is to pose as a pilot, taxi around the runway, hit the brakes and grab one of the hijacker’s guns? Come on... 4) Funny how all those crack-shot rookies never come close to hitting Harry when they shoot at him. 5) So, Sweet was “sacrificed” by the top villain for the greater good of the death squad? Instead of inserting all of those pointless sub-plots into the film (the hijacking, the pimp and his lady in the taxicab, etc...) how about showing the dynamics within the group? I doubt the other members would have been terribly happy about this decision. 6) The ending still smells like bullshit...the top villain gets the drop on Harry AFTER HE HAS KILLED THREE (bad) COPS and instead of shooting him, he wants to turn him in? Even if he believes no jury would believe Harry, he would still get to tell his story and the FBI would start investigating. No way this would happen. No way.

Rating: Magnum Force is a good, but not great sequel to Dirty Harry. While Harry usually goes into battle against gangsters, serial killers, armed hippies and the liberal justice system, this time he takes on the ‘extreme right’ (as well as gangsters and hijackers) in the form of a gang of vigilante cops. At 123 minutes, Magnum Force is a bit too long (it’s actually the longest film of the series) and it drags a bit by the end. 7/10 stars.

1 comment:

  1. The theme was intentional because Dirty Harry was heavily criticized as promoting vigilantism. So, in the sequel, they wanted to make things right.
    - Cool


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