Review by Michael Jacobson
Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino, Bradford Dillman June 3, 2008
Director: Jerry Fielding
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 96 Minutes
June 3, 2008
really are a dirty bastard, ain’t ya, Harry?”
Harry, everyone’s favorite hot-headed cop with an ice-cold demeanor, is back
for a third installment in The Enforcer, a film that once again doesn’t
live up to the reputation of the original, but is at least a more entertaining
ride than its predecessor Magnum Force.
time around, with a tighter length, a new female partner, and a better concept
for bad guys than just fellow renegade cops, director Jerry Fielding breathes a
bit of new life back into the franchise, as Harry and his favorite handgun once
again take to the streets of San Francisco for a little hard-edged justice as
only he can deliver.
bad guys this time are a radical left-wing terrorist group obviously modeled
after the Simbionese Liberation Army…only this time, the long haired punks
aren’t kidnapping heiresses, they’re stealing heavy duty weapons and
threatening to hold the entire city hostage.
Harry Callahan finds himself on the case with a new female partner (Daly,
perhaps in a warm up to her Cagney and Lacey heyday)…not his ideal,
perhaps, but even Harry can learn a thing or two about women without losing his
cool along the way.
film mixes violence with humor, keeping the bad guys so one-dimensional and
underportrayed that they seem like easy and worthwhile fodder for Harry’s
gun…we don’t feel any qualms about rooting for him to pull the trigger.
What the movie lacks, obviously, is the dark intensity that made the
original movie such a landmark American classic.
The Enforcer is an entertaining yarn, but doesn’t offer much
food for thought.
picture’s climax takes place at none other than Alcatraz, where the bad guys
have stowed the kidnapped mayor and are ransoming him for $5 million.
It’s a delicate negation that Harry is supposed to take no part
in…care to guess how it ends? Yep…Harry
has his own way of administering justice, and he does just that…one shot at a
continues to be the perfect embodiment of the hot-but-cool Callahan, who’s as
sure with his .44 Magnum as he is about his methods of crime fighting.
And Ms. Daly makes a nice turn as the rookie inspector assigned to both
watch Harry’s back and win his confidence at the same time.
however, is a good kiss-off line, but that can be excused.
The best one of them all was just one more film away in Sudden Impact,
and if you can guess the one I mean, you’ve made my day!
again, Warner delivers a top-notch anamorphic transfer.
The look of The Enforcer on DVD is damned near perfect, with
amazingly natural looking coloring, razor sharp images, and remarkable levels of
detail from foreground to background, and from close-ups to deep focus shots.
The only MINOR complaint is that a couple of extreme low-lit images
exhibit a touch of grain and a little bit of shimmer from the age of the
print…at no other time is it apparent, though.
Overall, this is a remarkable job, and one that will continue the
tradition of making Harry fans extremely happy.
5.1 mix is once again superb, with plenty of cross-cutting action that brings
all stages to life, and good use of the subwoofer to punctuate action scenes.
From the loud gunplay to the subtle ambient effects, this is a quality
mix all the way, with clear dialogue and a punchy musical score to boot.
The disc contains a fun director commentary, plus a short documentary “Harry Callahan/Clint Eastwood: Something Special in Films” which offers a few brief insights into the making of The Enforcer, plus a featurette on violence in cinema...always topical.
not quite a great film by any means, but it is one of the better Dirty Harry sequels.
It’s not particularly deep or thoughtful, but it is cool, mindless
action fun for ninety minutes. Fans
of the vigilante cop could definitely do worse than to have this good looking
and sounding disc from Warner Bros. in their collection.