Magnum Force – Clint Eastwood week

Last year I reviewed 13 Clint Eastwood movies available on instant Netflix. Netflix has now released a bunch more. Magnum Force is currently available on instant Netflix.

Magnum Force

WATCH: Magnum Force (1973) – Rated R

“The second of five Dirty Harry movies, Magnum Force finds Clint Eastwood revisiting his career-making turn as a tough-as-nails detective who makes his own rules. A wayward cop is enforcing vigilante justice by assassinating several criminals who manage to escape punishment by slipping through legal loopholes, and “Dirty” Harry Callahan is on the case. Watch for an uncredited appearance by a young Suzanne Somers.”

“A man’s got to know his limitations.”

“Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot.”

This is an excellent follow-up to Dirty Harry. The opening credits are a hand holding a gun and Clint’s voice-over ad for the .44 Magnum. The killings (initially) are shown being committed by a uniformed patrolman in iconic gear – perhaps an inspiration for the later Maniac Cop series. The ending, as with Dirty Harry, does not drag after the climax.

Magnum Force features, albeit briefly, perhaps the second greatest pimp-mobile of all time. Top pimp mobile still goes to Isaac Hayes’ vehicle in Escape from New York – nothing beats chandelier headlights.

Screenwriter John Milius stated that Clint’s sex scene with an Asian woman was added because of all the Asian fan mail propositions Clint had received. That was awfully nice of him to respond to fan requests.

Clint Eastwood is marvelous as always in perhaps his most iconic role. Unlike Dirty Harry, this is not quite a one-man show. Hal Holbrook is excellent as Harry’s superior. Tim Matheson capably plays one of the junior officers. The other actors are all good.

Magnum Force mildly corrects a few of the right-wing fantasy issues from the first film. The movie shows that vigilante justice is a slippery slope. Harry has a speech about taking things too far as well.

San Francisco scenery is once again put to fantastic use here. There are many shots of the Golden Gate bridge and the harbor. There is a nice though brief chase in the winding hilly streets. The action sequence on the carriers is impressive and features some nice stunt work.

Again I wholeheartedly recommend this sequel to Dirty Harry. Unlike Dirty Harry, this film is shown in its original aspect ratio (widescreen).

People Watch: Well Netflix stole my thunder by mentioning Suzanne Somers’ bit part in this. Robert Urich appears as a police officer in this before moving on to SWAT, Vega$, and Spenser for Hire. David Soul plays another officer before his role as Hutchinson in Starsky & Hutch.