Magnum Force | Chicago Reader

Magnum Force

Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character was one of the definitive screen personae of the 70s; but where Don Siegel used the character as the basis for a film of stunning virtuosity, Ted Post in this sequel manages to make him seem wishy-washy and haggard. There is something vaguely rotten and dishonest in setting up Harry as the voice of middle-of-the-road liberalism when he discovers that there are John Dean/Hitler Jugend types on the police force more thoroughly nazified than Harry can even imagine—especially in forcing the turnabout on the audience in the last reel. Both the action sequences and Eastwood are fine, but the project reeks of misapplied compunction. With Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul, and Robert Urich (1973).

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