Monday, February 6, 2012

The Enforcer (1976)

Directed by James Fargo. Clint Eastwood IS...The Enforcer! No, wait...Clint Eastwood IS Dirty THE ENFORCER! No, wait...Clint Eastwood STARS as Dirty Harry THE ENFORCER! No, wait...Clint Eastwood is BACK as Dirty Harry THE ENFORCER! Yeah, that's it.

The second sequel to "Dirty Harry" could not help but succeed because the first two films keep him off the screen enough to leave you wanting more. Of course, smart cinema fans are like gourmets, they know when to push away from the table and say, enough. They know that less is more. Too much of a good thing is not good.

I'm not like that. For me, "The Enforcer" is delightful from start to finish, for example, when Captain McKay (Bradford Dillman) yells at Callahan for using excessive force and causing $14,000 in damage ("I've been on the phone with the mayor all morning!"). Hahahahahaha.

But underneath it all this film tells the story of Callahan's struggle with the burgeoning suffrage movement, which by 1976 has apparently reached San Francisco, as real live women are joining the police force...and Dirty Harry is assigned a new partner (Tyne Daly, in a female role).


Meanwhile, a group of scum-baggy terrorists kidnap the mayor, who suddenly has less time to spend on the phone hassling Captain McKay. The terrorists demand $2 million ransom and hold the mayor prisoner on Alcatraz Island, presumably because it makes for better aerial shots than old tenement buildings.

Anyway, a lot of bang-bang-bang, a little c'mon out, one or two ooh you got me's, and suddenly Dirty Harry is a little more enlightened than he was a mere 90 minutes ago. But at what price?! At what price I ask you?!

Recommended! Alongside all four other Dirty Harry masterpieces: "Dirty Harry" (1971), "Magnum Force" (1973), "Sudden Impact" (1983), "The Dead Pool" (1988). One or more of these may be reviewed elsewhere here.

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