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Magnum Force

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Magnum Force

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook
Director: Ted Post
Rated: R
RunTime: 124 Minutes
Release Date: January 1973
Genres: Action, Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Felton Perry, David Soul, Mitchell Ryan, Tim Matheson, Robert Urich

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

"Somebody's trying to put the courts out of business," warns one of Dirty Harry's superiors in MAGNUM FORCE. There are rogue cops, played by David Soul, Tim Matheson, Kip Niven and Robert Urich, operating a death squad within the San Francisco police department. This group aims to operate as judge, jury and executioner. The task of stopping them falls to the unlikely candidate of Harry Callahan, an officer who prides himself on taking out criminals with a flagrant disregard for due process.

"A man's got to know his limitations," Harry reflects more than once. But Harry doesn't have a lot of limitations, possessing an action hero's ability to fight overwhelming odds and win. Unlike James Bond, with whom he shares many traits, Harry doesn't generally have time for women. In this, the second of the five Dirty Harry movies, an attractive neighbor comes knocking at Harry's door offering sex. Well, Harry may not go out of his way looking for female companionship, but he sure won't turn it down when it comes so nicely gift wrapped and hand delivered.

One of the first crimes that Harry foils in MAGNUM FORCE is an aircraft hijacking. With bravado and resourcefulness to spare, Harry would make a great trainer for today's new crew of sky marshals. Never one to hold back, Harry is happy to blast away in hostage situations, which always surprises the criminals. The taciturn Harry doesn't do negotiations. His motto might be summarized as: Shot first. Ask questions never. And your motto could be: Rent (or buy) this DVD. It's got Dirty Harry in it. You don't need to ask any questions.

MAGNUM FORCE runs 2:04. It is rated R for violence, nudity and some language and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ***, saying that he liked it a little bit more than the first one.

The movie is available on DVD and video tape.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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