“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Ted Post, James Fargo, Buddy Van Horn / Actors: Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, Jim Carrey, Andrew Robinson ... / Blu-ray released 2009-10-19 at Warner Home Video / Features of the Blu-ray: Box set, PAL „
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Dirty Harry is just about one of my all time favourite films, and in fairness the sequels are good, so well worth buying.
For those of you who don't know Dirty Harry, he is Clint Eastwood's masterpiece of acting. A San Francisco Inspector who lost his wife, turning him into an unstoppable justice machine who barely operates within the law with his Magnum 44. He doesn't always believe the law is right but does respect it to a point. When he believes the law is failing, he has no problem in taking the law into his own hands.
There are five films in total.
'Dirty Harry' is the first and the best. Following a shooting, Dirty Harry is called in and finds that the city is being held to ransom by a man known only as Scorpio (stunningly played by Andy Robinson), who is a psychopath and will kill until the city pays him to stop. It becomes a battle of wits, and Dirty Harry tries several traps to catch the killer, only to be told that he has no evidence because the gun was obtained without a warrant from a judge. Dirty Harry flips, and goes on a final personal vendetta to kill Scorpio when he takes a school bus hostage, leading to one of the greatest showdowns and arguably Clint Eastwood's single best line in any film.
The second film is a weaker sequel, but is still very entertaining. Magnum Force follows Dirty Harry as he tries to catch four vigilante cops who are killing criminals, questioning the justice system and asking what happens when the law fails. This leads to a tense confrontation with his own superior, who in a twist turns out to be a vigilante himself.
The third film is the Enforcer, and follows Harry and his new partner as they try to catch the murderers of the Mayor's aids and the kidnappers of the city's Mayor. The evidence suggests a radical movement, something that becomes clear when they find a corrupt Pastor, who points them in the direction of Alcatraz island, where there is again another famous finale.
Sudden Impact is in many ways the best sequel. Dirty Harry is pitched against someone much like himself. A woman (Sondra Locke, on good form) wants revenge on the men who raped her and her sister. As she returns to kill those responsible, Dirty Harry begins to suspect her, but through getting to know her decides in the end to plant the evidence on the dead psychopath who raped her, letting her go free on the understanding if she commits another crime he will come after her.
Finally, there is The Dead Pool, which is also a good sequel, though not brilliant. It follows Harry and his new partner as they try to find a killer who is targeting famous people all written on a list created by a film director (Liam Neeson, in one of his very first film roles).
Overall, these provide some great entertainment, some truly thought provoking moments and some interested social commentary. The most important question is asks is what happens when the law fails.
Easily the best film cop of all time, Dirty Harry is truly worth buying.