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|Index||130 reviews in total|
38 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
Good Movie, 2 January 2005
Author: mrbrigante from Netherlands
I sometimes wonder if "Magnum Force" is a better movie than "Dirty Harry." In the latter, Harry Calahan is up against a psycho causing panic, while in "Magnum Force" Harry opposes a number of enemies: enemies he would not have expected at first. Crime is still on the rise, there is too much corruption and too few 'real' cops, like him. When he meets some young, aspiring cops he is amazed by their qualities. Great acting by Clint Eastwood who is just perfect in playing the old-fashioned Harry Callahan. There is violence, but the strange thing is you support Callahan in 'cleaning' the city. One of the best in the Dirty Harry-series.
24 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Eastwood is the conventional tough-guy par excellence..., 11 February 2005
Author: ironside (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Mexico
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A racketeer, Carmine Ricca, has been cleared of murder, due to the
usual and frustrating court technicality... He leaves, a happy and free
man... Not for long... A motorcycle cop pulls his car over, seemingly
for a traffic violation and ruthlessly slaughters him and the other
Harry is soon on the scene, this time with a new black partner, Early Smith (Felton Perry). It transpires that Harry is no longer in the homicide squad, he's been demoted to a stake-out squad by Detective Briggs (Hal Holbrook) because of his previous unconventional methods... Nevertheless he soon demonstrates that he has lost none of his considerable skills... Enjoying a hamburger at San Francisco Airport he becomes involved in a hijack...
Harry meets an old colleague Charlie McCoy (Mitch Ryan) who seems unnaturally upset about the ineffectiveness of the courts and Harry fears that he may be the killer cop...
Later, in the police firing range, he meets four young traffic cops who are more than impressed by his former lethal methods... With a wave of underworld killings on the increase, Harry is eventually told to work with Briggs to solve them... He still suspects the murderer is McCoy until the latter is killed and, by setting a clever trap to check the bullets in the guns of the four young motorcycle cops, Harry finds that they are the guilty persons...
"Magnum .44" is much bloodier than "Dirty Harry." The lack of emotion emerges in Harry's character... He is a powerful and dominating figure who shoots first and asks questions later... Director Ted Post takes him from below to imprint his stature on the piece...
Eastwood is solid enough but not as penetrating as it was in "Dirty Harry." He even have sex... Inevitably, as is usual with his persona, the initiative has to come from the female, unsuccessfully from McCoy's widow and extremely directly from the pretty little Japanese girl who lives downstairs... She gazes up at Eastwood and says: "What does a girl have to do to go to bed with you?" He replies: "Try knocking at the door." They've only known each other for about half a minute, making it one of the swiftest screen seductions on record, and it illustrates the fact that Eastwood's sex appeal is instant and uncomplicated... He is the conventional tough-guy par excellence handsome, laconic, cynical, determined and independent; clearly a man to be idolized by other men and worshiped by women...
20 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
A sequel with a new story..., 22 July 2005
Author: MonteCarloMan from United States
This sequel to the entertaining "Dirty Harry" stands with few peers when it comes to successful follow-ups. Most don't stand on their own feet but Magnum Force does solidly. Changing the plot but not the style is good formula in movies, rather than playing out what was already done in the original, which is why so many sequels fail. "Magnum Force" is my second favorite film by Eastwood after "High Plains Drifter". Harry still likes to do things his way although rather than focusing his energy on the bad guys, he's focused on some crooked cops in his own department! Follows in the original's footsteps with lots of great views of San Francisco (My Birthplace!) I always feel at home when watching this movie. This is another film that is played a lot on TV because its so good on it's own. Felton Perry does a good job as Harry's partner, comparable to Reni Santoni in the original. Didn't like any of the sequels that followed this movie with the exception of Sudden Impact. Magnum Force is a film that rates highly as watchable again & again.
13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Another Dirty Harry masterpiece, 3 September 2003
Author: chvylvr80 from Northridge, California
Magnum Force turns up the heat a little more than Dirty Harry. There is a little more gunplay and more of the sizzling 70's soundtrack that helped Dirty Harry be so groovy. Clint returns of course as Dirty Harry Callahan, this time after a small group of rogue cops. All the Dirty Harry movies are great and this is the 2nd best in the series, after Dirty Harry. The streets of San Francisco provides a beautiful backdrop, and Hal Halbrook does a great job of playing the continually annoyed chief. Bottom Line: Magnum Force meets the bar set by Dirty Harry and does a fabulous job of continuing the series.
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
First sequel to the classic, 23 July 2002
Author: Bogey Man from Finland
Ted Post directed and John Milius and Michael Cimino wrote this first sequel
to Don Siegel's classic gritty police drama, Dirty Harry (1971). Magnum
Force (1973) is not as near as effective or powerful as the first and
original film, but this sequel is watchable and has its merits, too. Harry
is now investigating strange killings of criminals, pimps, dirty politicians
and others, so the killer is killing "bad guys" this time. Harry starts to
investigate the cases, and he has his doubts about all this. Then the truth
is revealed and also, unfortunately, spoilt in most of the reviews and
comments I've read.
Harry has again his usual opponents, mostly his colleagues and superiors who don't accept his tough style. Harry wants to do justice, but by using his own ways and moral. If talking doesn't help, then the magnum .44 will. I don't think this or the first film are fascist, but realistic and honest, and extremely bleak depictions of world and society which is more or less collapsing because of its inhabitants. This film manages still to tell something about that, but the next sequel, The Enforcer, is pretty lame in comparison.
Magnum Force has pretty fat plot and many different characters and sub plots, without being too confusing. Towards the end, the film becomes perhaps too predictable and unbelievable, and I think the ending should have needed little tightening. Now it is little unnecessary shoot outs and nothing else. The film runs two hours, which is the longest running time in the "series", but still this manages to interest and even surprise, but if they had finished the film some 20 minutest earlier, this would be even more noteworthy film. Now it has nothing too important to offer during its finale, and so the finale becomes little unnecessary, in my opinion.
As an action film, this is pretty exciting and shot with talent. The action scenes are often fast and full of gunpowder and fire, so director Post can surely direct with skill. The film is pretty brutal and violent at times, and this again shows the fact that films this gritty and violent are not made in Hollywood nowadays, at least not too often. Magnum Force is much more easier and "positive" film than its predecessor, and that's why it hasn't got so many things to offer and give. This is pure action film where the first film was also many other things, too, like social commentary and talking about things many would not want to talk about. Magnum Force gets 7/10, but fortunately still has its positive things and even little bit of the power that made Dirty Harry so immortal.
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
"Magnum force will make your day!", 1 October 2009
Author: Graham Watson from Gibraltar
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you were to ask film goer's which character or movie they would
associate with Clint Eastwood it would probably be his portrayal of the
no-nonsense crime buster inspector Harry Callahan. Of course Eastwood
had done some very popular movies prior to this including his spaghetti
westerns in the 1960's and even after the Harry Callahan run he has
gone on to do some well acclaimed films in front of as well as behind
the camera. It's worth mentioning this because despite being well into
his seventies he's still in demand as actor and director which is a
testament to his movie making abilities and longevity that spans fifty
years! All in all an impressive achievement. Be that as it may, when
you play the character of Harry Callahan five times over an 18 year
period it's hard for fans not to associate him with the part.
MAGNUM FORCE might actually be a tad better than DIRTY HARRY as well as being the best of the sequels. Not only do we learn a bit more about Inspector Callahan but also it's a more interesting and compelling story as well as having a better all round cast. Well, at least it seems that way as time has gone by, because the supporting cast of David Soul, Tim Matheson and Robert Urich who play the easy-going traffic cops would go on to be well known stars in their own right through the 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's. In addition they are backed up by the brilliant Hal Holbrook playing the impatient and easily irritated lieutenant Briggs.
Tough street wise cops were not a new thing to Hollywood, but because of the civil rights movements in the 1960's and 70's there were a lot of new rules that the police had to adhere to and their methods came under greater judicial scrutiny. If there was a whiff of wrong doing, the judge would instruct that critical testimony should be dismissed and vital evidence rendered inadmissible thus making the DA's prosecution impossible and an acquittal or a dismissal of a case a certainty. They had rights! As a consequence it seemed that the courts became a sanctuary or a get out of jail card for the criminals! Also, rather than having some dopey public defender the criminals gained access to the new breed of wise-guy smarmy lawyers who would use all forms of court room trickery to gain acquittals for their clients. Whether it was organized crime, pimps, murderers, rapists and muggers the system seemed to work in their favor.
Also, politicians became sensitive to the minority communities complaints of police strong armed tactics leaned on local police forces to ease off. All this coincided with an explosion of violent crime in the early 1970's where the public particularly in the big cities became anxious and frustrated at this. Therefore movies such as DIRTY HARRY where Harry used his own methods to get his man and DEATH WISH which encouraged the public to fight back using the same methods as the hoods all captured the public imagination. In the follow up, MAGNUM FORCE explored the possibility of vigilante cops acting as judge, jury and executioner because the system seemed not to be working.
Inspector Callahan is not impressed by these new methods and shrugs off pressure from above. The beginning of the movie sets the tone, from his indifference towards the gunned down thugs as well as the way he tackled the hijacked plane only demonstrated the way he wanted to do his job. When it appears that some one is trying to put the courts out of business as the body bags that are piling up in the cities morgue are San Francisco's dregs of the earth, Callahan has the unenviable task of finding out who is responsible for this? Harry at first thinks that it is some rouge cop acting out of impulse who might be the one responsible for these revenge killings but as things progress it appears that this is not just a random or a spur of the moment act.
Callahan becomes suspicious towards a well disciplined team of rookie cops who he knows are expert marksman. It appears that they are a highly motivated and are a product of a well organized shadow police force who have support much higher up the chain of command. Although Callahan has no empathy towards the people who are being killed and to a large extent understands why somebody might carry out such a deed, he is much happier catching them in the act and blowing them away in a shoot out. He is uneasy at the blatant execution style of these killings and is way beyond what he thinks is right! As his investigation unfolds, he too becomes a target and when his partner gets rubbed out it seems that he may have crossed more than just the mayor and the chief of police! Now with nobody watching his back, can he get to the bottom of this before he becomes a victim, and more importantly who can he trust?
There are obvious plot holes but it is more than compensated by great cinema photography with great shots of San Francisco, shoot outs, an easy going back ground score and and of course a very smooth Clint Eastwood to boot. The sparing between Briggs and Callahan is entertaining and produces some great dialog, it's well worth a watch and I'd highly recommend this to 70's movie buffs and Clint Eastwood fans!.
10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Clint Eastwood knows his limitations., 20 February 2007
Author: BroadswordCallinDannyBoy from Boston, MA
After a known criminal, with clout over the city, manages to escape the
punishment of the law, he and his partners are gunned down by a
vigilante dressed as a cop and with a .44 Magnum. Drawn to the case
Infamous San Francisco Detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan starts to
investigate as the vigilante continues to take out criminals citywide.
Soon there are suspicions that the criminals are getting their
information from inside the police force.
If there is one actor that can be plainly badass, macho, and tough in the most stereotypical way without making a fool of himself, it's Clint Eastwood. Never has an actor been so plain and stoic, yet so entertaining and funny at the same time. That's because Eastwood knows his limitations and, as a result, never becomes totally ridiculous. Whether he's dropping one liners, shooting his cannon of a revolver, or mysteriously seducing women with no effort whatsoever Clint Eastwood just plays it cool. Steve McQueen also managed the same with his classic "Bullitt" and Dirty Harry uses essentially the same formula, but it does it well with its own unique spin and style. Also Clint Eastwood has lived well past McQueen's early death so his films are more prevalent in the current movie mindset.
The film isn't quite perfect and there is one sequence in particular - at the airport where Harry takes out two hijackers single handedly - that seems to be just there to show that Harry Callahan is a badass who makes his own rules and gets things done. Yet this scene does nothing to advance the plot. With the film clocking in at over two hours this could have easily been dropped. Along with a few trimmings here and there for a slightly brisker film.
That said, the movie remains entertaining and a good part of Eastwood's action era. --- 8/10
Rated R for violence
15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Are you the cop who lives upstairs?, 22 October 2003
Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
It seems that between "Dirty Harry" and "Magnum Force" Inspector
"Dirty" Harry Callahan,Clint Eastwood, had learned the value of the
Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. Unlike in the first "Dirty
Harry" movie where Harry was the sole judge jury and executioner of all
those that he deemed were guilty of crimes against the people of the
city of San Francisco. In "Magnum Force" Harry actually believes in
letting the system do it's job and not take the law into your, or
A number of the top criminals in San Francisco from corrupt labor leaders to sadistic street pimps have been done away with by what seems to be a rouge element of the SF Police Department and Harry's boss lieut. Briggs, Hal Holbrook, wants to find out just who's responsible.
Harry, between shooting plane hijackers and convenient store hold up men, is also interested in stopping these criminals in uniform since their breaking the law, like average criminals, and the very thought of them breaking the law just gets Harry's Irish up. Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to take part in the bust of a mob hideout and when the police operation is put into full gear something goes wrong, the mobsters are tipped off, and a policeman and a number of mobsters, most of them by Harry, are killed in the shoot-out that follows. Harry realizes that there's someone in the police force that's behind all those vigilant killings and tipped off the gangsters in order to have them killed in the shoot-out! That instead of having them arrested and and brought to trial. It's decided there and then by "Dirty Harry" Callahan that not only is he going to put a stop to those killings but also to those who are doing them: Dirty Harry style!
By far the best of the "Dirty Harry" movies with Clint Eastwood never better in his role as "Dirty Harry" Callahan in the most action-packed and exciting "Dirty Harry" film ever made. Eastwood is much freer and less constraint then he was in the first "Dirty Harry" film. Which makes the action go faster and also make it far more exciting with a great cast and a much better action director, Ted Post. Post keep things moving when it comes to keeping the tempo of the action in the movie up and the talking and explaining down, by Harry and his fellow police officers and friends, as to why Harry is called "Dirty Harry" every ten minutes in the film like in the first "Dirty Harry" movie.
Great ending sequence at the San Francisco Navy Yard with Harry taking care of business by doing in the bad guys and making the city safe again until the next "Dirty Harry" film comes blazing along.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Produced As A Response To Critics, 14 July 2010
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Despite being viewed as a classic crime thriller nowadays the original
film in the DIRTY HARRY franchise received very verbal complaint from
critics two of which were by legendary critics Pauline Kael and Rober
Ebert described it as being " Fascist " . Maybe that's going too far
but you have to consider that up till that time Hollywood always
divided good and evil in absolutes . With the birth of " New Hollywood
" in the late 1960s the lines started becoming very blurred . Certainly
Harry Callahan doesn't stomp around in jackboots but is torturing
confessions out of suspects to be condoned ? Maybe the reason the
audience cheered the demise of Scorpio in the original was because it
was a good compromise ? Yes shooting suspects caught red handed is
certainly justice no matter how rough the liberals may claim it to be
It's obvious the makers of MAGNUM FORCE are mindful of this . It's certainly a tough compelling thriller with an interesting premise of cops forming a death squad to liquidate criminal elements in society but often you get the impression characters become literary devices in order to say " Nope Dirty Harry wasn't a fascist movie and here is the difference ... " There's slight niggling flaws that stops the film becoming a persuasive film in its own right . It would have been very interesting if Lt Briggs had arrested Harry and how it would have stood up in court . It also begs the question at the end if Harry would have to reveal he's killed the vigilante cops or if he's not going to mention anything on the matter . But these are minor flaws in a film that's the only one in the franchise that comes close to the brilliance of the original
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Year Of The Gun, 15 December 2008
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
It's all about the man, his politics, and his methods. Harry Callahan
(Clint Eastwood) is a tough, no-nonsense cop. In this second "Dirty
Harry" movie, Callahan is on the trail of a ruthless vigilante gang.
The story starts off well enough, with a fair amount of suspense. As
the plot moves along, however, it becomes less tight and more drawn
out. Suspense fizzles. And the puzzle solution is revealed too soon.
The film conveys an angry tone, especially directed at the American court system. The idea is that the "law" doesn't really protect innocent people. So we need loners like Dirty Harry to hunt down the bad guys. The film glorifies guns, a symbol of "rough justice". As such, Harry is very much a modern representative of the Old West cowboy gunslinger. Right is right; wrong is wrong; there's no in-between. I hate that overly simplistic mentality.
Color cinematography is fine; there's some good overhead camera shots. Many scenes take place on city streets. Way too much time is spent on car chases. Acting is acceptable. I especially liked the performance of the always reliable Hal Holbrook.
The original "Dirty Harry" was quite suspenseful. By contrast, "Magnum Force" is much less so. Still, it's not a bad movie, if you don't mind lots of car chases and the sounds of screeching tires, and if you adhere to a philosophy that a lone tough-guy cop can protect us, with the help of his trusty "44-Magnum", "the most powerful handgun in the world".
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