Clint Eastwood is a bit awesome, isn’t he? The man is a legend. Not only a great actor but a great director, bagging himself two Oscars for two brilliant films. But as an actor, Eastwood made his name in the 60's playing cowboys in Westerns, most notably Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy. But in 1971, he introduced to us a character who would go on to be quoted for years and impersonated like it was going out of fashion: ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan. When Dirty Harry came out, Eastwood brought to a life a no-nonsense, tough as nails cop who was dedicated to upholding the law, even if he had to get down and dirty (Matter of fact, he preferred it that way). Ask anyone what their favourite Eastwood film is, and if it’s not The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, then it’s Dirty Harry. Now don’t get me wrong, Dirty Harry is fantastic; one of my favourites from the 70s. But there’s something about the first sequel, Magnum Force that I really love. The next three sequels (The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool) are all enjoyable in their own respects, but never reach the height of entertainment that Magnum Force delivers. Controversially, I don’t think Dirty Harry does either.
When I decided to spend the week watching every Dirty Harry film, there was one little fear floating around my head: Is every film just going to be a copy of the last? It retains the same general feel of the first film, but if you ask me, this is a much better action film. The best thing about it is that it’s filled with smaller crimes as the main one goes on. So it almost feels like a series of adventures before Harry finally gets on to the big crime. This is the format the next three films follow; however none of them do it quite as good. It’s never as exciting as Magnum Force, which had me smiling for nearly the entire film.
I might get some hate for this, but I dread the thought of watching old films. I know how they’re going look/feel, and I always feel like I’m not in the mood. Truth is, I spend a lot of my time watching new releases so it’s a bit of a weird transition. But having come out in 1973, Magnum Force is much better than most action films you see today. Plus, the Blu-Ray transfer is delightful, giving a clean, crisp look to the film.
So once again, this is my favourite of the Dirty Harry films. It may not have as interesting a villain as Scorpio, or a scene as heart pounding as the showdown in the stadium, or maybe even an amazing Eastwood performance. But to hell with it, my entertainment meter hit the top with this film. Magnum Force is always, has a great cast, and is never boring.
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