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Buddy Van Horn
Picking up three years after the events in Magnum Force, a threatening terrorist group called, The People's Revolutionary Strike Force declare war to the city of San Francisco and demand a ransom to be paid, otherwise they plan to blow the city apart. While Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan is at a limbo following his unorthodox method during a robbery, he's at it to dispatch the terrorist group, by playing their game by being more dirty than ever. But this time, he's got a new partner, which might prove the task to be somewhat more difficult than ever, unless the two can work together. Written by
The mayor's limo screeches to a halt next to a truck and the baddies blow the truck to bits with their rocket launcher. In both long shots of the truck it is clearly not moving, but in the very brief head-on shot of the truck as the rocket hits its radiator, it is slowly moving forward. See more »
Enjoyable on its own. Not quite a Harry movie, but a Clint movie
I think many fans have mixed feelings about THE ENFORCER. It represents both a departure from and an adherence to the familiar Harry tradition. However, despite its many shortcomings, it excludes a great 70s feel.
Fans of the first two installments will still delight in Harry's struggles with bureaucracy in the department, and to this end Bradford Dillman is a valuable addition to the series as the new Chief. Once again, Clint has some killer dialogue but while for the most part he is as stern as in his previous performances, some of his lines are offered just a little too sparingly and nonchalantly.
The villains this time a group of mere misfits who kidnap the Mayor of San Francisco for a ransom of five million dollars just aren't as menacing as the crooks in DIRTY HARRY and MAGNUM FORCE. There's no mystique surrounding their identity and their performances are particularly flat and nondescript (even to the point where their plot points may wash over you and you momentarily lose your place.)
The script begins very promisingly with Harry being assigned a female partner. The relationship that develops between the two - as Harry is forced to deal with his subconscious sexist prejudice leads to some surprising comical moments, and this addition to the dynamic of the usual animosity between Harry and his partners comes across very well.
The soundtrack is overwhelmingly orchestral giving THE ENFORCER a Hollywood music make-over instead of the usual gritty and upbeat Lalo Schrifin score which was used to full effect earlier. The chase scene in which Harry ends up in the Church builds up some tension and only serves thereby to remind the viewer of a hitherto absence of the moody jazz that was so prevalent in the original.
The original Dirty Harry's success was not due to any specific formula but rather was the result of a film full of subtleties. These subtleties included a perfect music score, a balanced tension between Harry and his partners, Harry's contempt for the red tape of police bureaucracy, and the sinister nature of the villain(s). Together, these dynamics made the original two movies stronger than the sum of their parts: THE ENFORCER is simply not as magical. This is a great pity. For the next Harry outing would see an older, greyer, and wrinklier Clint - and the series could only ever descend into some sort of parody.
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