After being banished to the forgotten lands of takeouts after his last case earned him some complaints surrounding police brutality issues, Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) muscles in on a case which is later revealed to be the doing of some vigilante cops. After his friend is murdered on the job at a location that was under 24 hour surveillance, good ol’ Harry realises something is up when he finds out motorbike rookie, Davis (David Soul), was at the scene before the two officers who were watching the building. After gathering enough evidence to strengthen his convictions, Harry sets about bringing the rogue cops down. However, they seem pretty intent on doing the same to Harry as they did to his friend, the only difference this time being that they also have the support of Harry’s boss.
Magnum Force is the follow up to 1971’s Dirty Harry. I watched the original film about a year ago and loved it. I will be forever quoting the line, ‘Go ahead, make my day,’ because of that film, and I will never forget the very first scene where we met Harry, where his conduct was being brought into question. Who’d have thought it? At the beginning of Magnum Force, it seems Harry is still being reprimanded for his actions on the previous case, but when a criminal walks free from court and is later found shot dead in a car with three others, Harry is straight on the case, regardless of whether his boss, Lt. Briggs likes it or not. Like John McClane, Martin Riggs and Rust Cohle, Harry can’t do anything right by his commander no matter how hard he tries, and we love him for it. He rubs Everton up the wrong way and that really makes my day.
Now, we can’t talk Dirty Harry without talking about Clint Eastwood’s kick-ass performance as the maverick cop. Eastwood was the original maverick hard man in Hollywood, and I think it’s fair to say that thanks to his roles in this and the famous spaghetti westerns, he will be remembered as that for a very long time. Yes, we all say that Bruce Willis played the ultimate action hero in Die Hard, and there have been endless jokes about the damage Chuck Norris’ martial arts skills can cause, but at the end of the day, we all know they both check under their beds for for Clint before going to sleep. He was fabulous as Harry for a second time in Magnum Force as he sought to avenge his friend’s murder. Eastwood was always very calm and collected which just raised your suspicions that Harry was still very much a loose cannon. He also delivered some of his lines in the same way that showed Harry still possessed that very dry sense of humour which had me in stitches in the first film.
The storyline was also very good. I genuinely didn’t expect the killers to be who they were, and I certainly didn’t suspect the powers that be to be involved either. The thing I really like about these films is that they have the right balance of good writing and enough to action and blood spatter to keep everyone’s attention focused solely on them. They have a wonderful anti-hero in the form or a very lush Eastwood, and in this instance, they also gift us with the latter half of Starsky and Hutch, David Soul.
All in all, I really liked Magnum Force, and look forward to seeing The Enforcer another day. They are all a much of wonderful films that are a good bit of fun to watch anytime.