DIRTY HARRY “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY” REVIEW: “The Dead Pool” stars Clint Eastwood (The Good the Bad and the Ugly, The Mule), Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile, The Maze Runner), Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Run All Night), Evan C. Kim (The Kentucky Fried Movie, V), David Hunt (Amazing Grace, 24 [TV series]), Michael Currie (Distant Thunder, Firefox), Michael Goodwin (Lolita, Fair Game), Darwin Gillett (The Streets of San Francisco [TV series], Falcon Crest [TV series]), and Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, Dumb and Dumber To). It is directed by Buddy Van Horn (Any Which Way You Can, Pink Cadillac), and written by Steve Sharon, Durk Pearson, and Sandy Shaw. When a punk rocker dies on a film set, a secret list of people’s names known as the Dead Pool is revealed, prompting Inspector Harry Callahan (Eastwood) to investigate who is behind the killings of this list.
And thus we make our final rounds in the homicide division with “The Dead Pool” (not to confuse with another film involving an avocado-looking-man in red). Did I expect the last feature to be the best? No. Did I expect it to be good at all? Not really. While “Sudden Impact” surprised me with its generally good quality being the fourth installment, I never allowed that to give way to a glimmer of hope that the fifth would attain a score above average. “The Dead Pool” is what you’d expect from a “Dirty Harry” film: a detective who lives on the edge of reason hunts down a criminal who is insane on the wrong side of the law. We’ve been there, done that, but what makes “The Dead Pool” different? Well, we’ve got a young Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey (who was credited as James Carrey), so at least we’ve got that going for us. Honestly, I enjoyed watching them in this, even if it was solely because of how big those stars are now. They added some flavor to this dead horse of a franchise, but besides them there isn’t too much to offer. Deemed as the shortest “Dirty Harry” flick of them all “The Dead Pool” has an interesting concept, but not enough meat given for the audience to sink their teeth into. It was cool finding out that Harry was hunting a man who was killing people on a list initially created as a fun game. The “Dead Pool” is essentially a prediction-based game where people just write down who they think will die within the year. Unfortunately for these people, one of the lists is becoming true, as a psycho is killing off the victims one by one. Pretty cool, right? It should be, but alas, the execution was just… meh. Slapped on this investigation is a side arc involving Harry and a new love interest, as well as a character building between Harry and his new partner, an Asian man who’s looking to change up the game in some way. Granted, we was a more entertaining partner than what I’ve seen from Harry’s past, but his use was of the same degree: sit back and react to Harry. Seems straight-forward, as it should be. The performances were decent, the cinematography was okay, and the music was very 80’s. It’s what you’d expect from a throwaway flick from that era, and if that’s what you want, then “The Dead Pool” is the thing for you! I didn’t hate it, nor did I love it. I think the only that made me care was the fact that it’s the last one in this series, and I can be a sentimental person. But, that doesn’t help this movie all too much. While I enjoy seeing Harry beat up crooks and not give a crap about it (even though at this point in his age it’s pretty unbelievable), his time was up before this film, making for an experience that just seems tired. FINAL SCORE: 68%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: