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The Enforcer

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Enforcer

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino
Director: James Fargo
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: January 1976
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Tyne Daly, Bradford Dillman, John Mitchum, John Crawford, DeVeren Bookwalter, Albert Powell

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

$14,379 -- that's how much the San Francisco police department will have to pay to repair the damages caused by Inspector Harry Callahan's (Clint Eastwood) latest encounter with the bad guys. Asked by hostage-holding robbers at a liquor store for a car with a police radio, he generously volunteers his own squad car. With pedal to the metal, he delivers the car right through the store's plate glass window and begins blasting away when he gets inside. Before the crooks know what hit them, he starts taking them out. Rather than getting a medal, which he doesn't want, Harry gets busted to a desk job, which he certainly doesn't want, for his antics at the liquor store.

THE ENFORCER, the third of the five Dirty Harry movies, is being re-released on DVD with a new digital transfer in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the start of the series.

Harry has a reverse Midas touch when it comes to partners. Being assigned to Harry is like having your doctor declare that you only have a few days left to live. After the death of one partner in THE ENFORCER, Harry gets a second one, Kate Moore (Tyne Daly, "Cagney & Lacey"), a woman whose decade long entire police career has been spent in the Human Resources department. No supporter of Affirmative Action, Harry does a slow boil when he is told that she will be his new sidekick.

"[If] she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log," Harry tells his boss when he suggests that Harry go easy on Kate on her difficult first day. With her suit and high heels, she has trouble chasing suspects. She, of course, proves to be resilient and resourceful and becomes Harry's friend. Daly gives an endearing performance that could easily have been little more buffoonery.

The plot this time has the People's Revolutionary Strike Force stealing explosive devices and rocket launchers. After they're armed to the teeth, they kidnap the mayor and demand a ransom.

Dirty Harry movies are like James Bond pictures, except in Dirty Harry they show some actual nudity and the bullet holes come with blood. This time the scene of gratuitous full-frontal nudity occurs when Harry accidentally drops -- and I do "drops" -- in on a porn movie set. Bond, of course, always wins on gadgets. All Harry has is his big gun.

The best part of the Dirty Harry movies is Harry's signature sarcasm. This time the best line comes when Harry's superior suspends him for insubordination and demands his badge. "Here's a seven point suppository," Harry says with a glare that could kill as he turns over his star.

THE ENFORCER runs 1:36. It is rated R for violence, nudity and language and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, liked the movie, especially the new female partner, and gave it ** 1/2. His only complaint was that it didn't have as many side stories as the first two films.

The movie is available on DVD and video tape.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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