MAGNUM FORCE – 1973
Once the matrix or the mould is
in place, the formula constructed in the first film works all by itself but you
have to vary the dressing of the composed salad bowl to make it attractive to
In this second film the desire for
the good cops to carry out their mission with as much power force as possible
that Dirty Harry represents is realized by a secret police “sect” or “clan”
that systematically kills everyone who is a criminal or an associate of such
criminals knowing that justice would never manage to have them convicted and
sentenced to anything. In front of that impotence, only one solution: let some
secret police society take over.
The fun then is to see how Dirty
Harry is going to cope with that group who he admires because of their shooting
skills, who he must admire because they are cleaning up the criminal plate of
San Francisco and yet he can only disapprove because they do not kill in action
but they kill as vigilantes and hit men, which is cowardly since the targets
have no say: they do not know anything is coming.
Then it is Dirty Harry versus
that clan or clique and he has to eliminate them all. For once his partner will
not be killed though he will be so badly treated and shot that he will decide
that kind of job is not for him, which Dirty Harry will support
whole-heartedly. In the end Dirty Harry will manage to clean up the police,
which is admirable in itself since that police has to be rotten to the core to
be that inefficient, not to say incompetent.
The action is brilliant though
slightly too slow for present time taste. The special effects are rather
primitive but the stunts are definitely OK.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
THE ENFORCER – 1976
This is the third episode of the
saga. The mould was established two films ago and the first variations were
introduced in the second episode. Now we have the third episode and the
variation is clearly defined.
On one side the group of
criminals are politically motivated, like some kind of revolutionary secret
army that manages to steal a whole lot of state-of-the-art modern weaponry. On
the other side the police who is completely impotent because of the political
pressure that imposes women and at the same time a more civil or polite if not
courteous way of dealing with criminals and crime. Ms Miranda again. Absolutely
That of course goes against the
grain of what Dirty Harry considers as good police work. The pseudo-revolutionary
group kidnaps the mayor of San
Francisco, then demands a couple of million and then a
helicopter to transport them to the airport where the money will be waiting in
a plane that would be ready to take off.
Dirty Harry is provided with a
new partner after the killing of the one he had at the beginning and that new
partner is a woman. She has to prove herself in the eyes of the famous Dirty
Harry. She picks the challenge and she succeeds against all odds.
This time what makes the police
inefficient is the political pressures they are suffering from, and that
crashes them down. The mayor is saved in extremis by Dirty Harry and his
partner, but the partner is killed and the mayor survives for sure but deeply
shaken by the method used to liberate him. The main criminal detaining him is
purely, truly and authentically blown into smithereens by a rocket launcher
just hardly one meter over the head of the Mayor.
In this case it is your best
friend who makes the police incompetent. The last touch of the film is the helicopter
arriving and announcing the money has been collected and is waiting for “you”
at the airport along with a plane on its loudspeakers just minutes if not
seconds after the killing of the main criminal and the freeing of the mayor. It
shows how far behind their own times these modernistic politicians can be.
Your worst enemies are always
your best friends.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU