Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Dead Pool (1988)

Dirty Harry Movie #5

Synopsis: Clint Eastwood puts the “poo” in Dead Pool.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “What happens when you put criminal scum behind bars? You become famous, that’s what. TV people want sound bites for the evening news. Writers want your life story. And sleazoid creeps want you dead.”

What Did I Learn?: When you make a cop movie, it’s generally a good idea to allow the villain to appear a bit sooner than an hour into the picture.

Really?: 1) Apparently, San Francisco lost its entire African-American population after Sudden Impact, because – unlike all of the other Dirty Harry films - I don’t remember seeing any black characters in this movie. And it’s so politically correct that even the hoods who rob a restaurant in Chinatown are white. 2) Once again, you can’t hit anything with an Uzi sub-machinegun. 2a) Harry and Samantha are in a glass elevator – they’re sitting ducks, yet neither receive so much as a scratch, and Harry is even able to pick off the shooters with his .44. 2b) Ok, you’ve just fired a volley of machinegun fire into Harry’s car, causing it to flip on its side. The smart next move would be to keep shooting and get the gas tank to explode. Getting on top of the car and peering inside isn’t such a hot idea. 3) If Lou Genero is such a big shot mafia boss, wouldn’t he simply kill the musclehead prison inmate Harry uses to intimidate him? 4) Does Harry ever bother know...arrest anyone before he opens fire?

Rating: The Dead Pool is both an atrocious film and an unworthy ending to the Dirty Harry story. This movie has nearly all of the flaws of Sudden Impact (especially the Sledge Hammer-ish self-parody) along with laughably bad action sequences (don’t get me started on Harry driving away from a remote-controlled toy car bomb, or his use of a harpoon gun at the end), poor writing and cartoonish characters. Clint basically sleepwalks through this surprisingly low-budget turd, while Liam Neeson looks embarrassed to be on screen. Oh – and I had to listen to “Welcome to the Jungle” not once, but twice. Ugh. I cannot recommend this movie. 4/10 stars.
Would it Work for a BAD MOVIE NIGHT?: Maybe... but it's not so outrageously awful that it's funny, so much as boring and dumb.


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