“The Enforcer”

DIRTY HARRY “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY” REVIEW: “The Enforcer” stars Clint Eastwood (The Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby), Tyne Daly (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Judging Amy [TV series]), Harry Guardino (Bender’s Force, King of Kings), Bradford Dillman (Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Compulsion), John Mitchum (Paint Your Wagon, Where’s Willie?), DeVeren Bookwalter (Manhole, Cover Girls [TV movie]), John Crawford (The Poseidon Adventure, The 300 Spartans), Samantha Doane (The Gauntlet, Growing Strong [Short]), Bob Hoy (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bite the Bullet), and Jocelyn James (The Other Side of the Mountain, Tourist Trap). It is directed by James Fargo (Forced Vengeance, Born to Race), with it being written by Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night [1967], The Towering Inferno), Dean Riesner (Fatal Beauty, Coogan’s Bluff), Gail Morgan Hickman (Murphy’s Law, The London Connection), and S.W. Schurr. Three years after the events of “Magnum Force,” Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is tasked with one of his biggest cases yet: stopping a terrorist group from blowing up parts of San Francisco. And he’ll have to deal with a new partner every step of the way, a female detective (Daly) who is ridiculed in the police department.

“I’m taking you off homicide, Callahan.” He was too much of a loose canon, but someone’s gotta be the enforcer around here, right? Yes, that was an intentional pun because the third flick in this detective franchise deserves it. Is it just me or are these movies getting more and more 70s? Not like they can’t, considering how up until now they were made in that decade, but the style is slowly becoming more and more “Starsky and Hutch” to me. I feel like I’m sitting in front of an old 70s programming my mom would put on in the kitchen, and whether or not that’s a good thing depends on the viewer. To me, “The Enforcer” is becoming too self-aware of itself. Harry has gone from tough as nails to “meh, let’s see if this works,” while everyone else around him wants him gone in one way or another. Why? Because he’s our lead character, and you gotta create conflict somehow. Seriously, hasn’t this guy been right enough times to constitute some trust? Most of “The Enforcer” is spent with Callahan having his hands tied behind his back, whether it’s being taken off homicide or being put back on, but with a newbie female cop. Speaking of, that female cop is a centerpiece to this flick, as one of the main themes revolves around women’s rights to be in the police force. Doesn’t bother me at all, until it has to take up void in every conversation where she’s present (an exaggeration perhaps, but it was enough to make me think it was only put in to fill some space). I liked the comradery between Callahan and Moore; their chemistry had the strength of the first film’s pairing of Harry and a partner, but that’s mainly because of how her being a woman absorbed most of conversations. It was easily developed through that arc, but thankfully they bounced off each other well for a good pay-off. There’s definitely some things to appreciate in “The Enforcer,” but the majority of it may come off silly. The villains this time around are dull, as it’s a group of protesters who are trying to make a statement by stealing military-grade weapons to start a war. But first, they gotta kidnap the mayor. The last two “Dirty Harry” features focused on the intentions of our villains and were able to flesh them out enough to make you dig deep into both sides. With “The Enforcer,” we see some scenes with the villains planning, but I just don’t care as much for them. They obtain the weapons rather easily, and the rest is pretty much a waiting game as to when they will strike. They’re all a bunch of young hippies too, mind you, which doesn’t make them all too likable (at least to me). You could make the case that villains aren’t supposed to be liked, but you want to love to hate them; I just hated them. And for being the shortest film of this franchise, clocking in at around an hour and thirty-six minutes, it moved along rather sluggish. There wasn’t much to be done, mind you. The villains were revealed and captured smoothly, but the details to be filled during that time weren’t that engaging to me. As I stated, this movie utilized the tropes it has created over the course of three films, and most of what happens in “The Enforcer” seems to be of a pattern. You can’t really blame the writers for taking what “Dirty Harry” is best known for and implementing it, but you can get on them for not presenting it in a different package or changing it up. To me, this Harry Callahan is a shell of what he was in the first outing. I was scared of the man because of his mysteriousness and grit, but now he’s just playing the crotchety straight man trying to get things done. The performances are still solid, for what it’s worth. Obviously, you have to take in the 70s way of things to truly accept the caliber of acting that goes on, but once you do you appreciate it. The score has certainly changed in this fact, opting for a huge indulgence in what made 70s TV pop, and I didn’t care much for it. I’d rather stick to the guns of suspenseful music that is more eerie than snappy. All in all, “The Enforcer” comes off to me as a bigger budgeted TV movie. Not much stands out or is worth praise, with even the cinematography taking a dive from the recent feature. For what it’s worth, the flick is entertaining and is a quick watch to sit down to. Callahan is enough of a lead to hold this thing up, and I don’t think we’ve crossed into horrendous territory yet. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““The Enforcer”

  1. Pingback: December Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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