Magnum Force [1973]

This first sequel to Dirty Harry was written by a couple of strong voices, writer-directors Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and John Milius (Farewell to the King). But that doesn't mean the film is particularly good. After Don Siegel's ferociously dark style in the first movie, Ted Post's blocky, television-ish direction in Magnum Force is a huge letdown. The story doesn't win any prizes, either. Eastwood's San Francisco detective Harry Callahan (apparently having retrieved his badge after throwing it away at the end of Dirty Harry) takes on a vigilante squad within the city's police force. David Soul is pretty convincing as the major spokesman for these right-wing avengers. Eastwood, on the other hand, had already turned Callahan from fascinating outsider in Siegel's film to purveyor of tough-guy shtick in this one. --Tom Keogh

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