Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/17/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of Clint Eastwood's original "Dirty Harry" will find little to cheer about in this uninspired sequel. Despite good performances by Eastwood and co-star Tyne Daly, "The Enforcer" (1976) suffers from a poorly developed script and James Fargo's lackluster direction. The action highlights are rather sparse, with surprisingly few Clint one-liners to enliven the proceedings. Jerry Fielding's jazz-oriented score is a weak substitute for the pulsating rhythms of composer Lalo Schifrin. A definite low point in the Inspector Callahan series."
Dirty Harry and a female partner face hippie revolutionaries
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the original "Dirty Harry," Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) went after a serial killer and in the "Magnum Force" sequel he went after vigilante cops. To balance the latter, with its liberal nightmare, the third film in the series, "The Enforcer," offers up a conservative counterpart by having the villains be long-haired hippie freaks in something called the Ecumenical Liberation Army (i.e., think about Tanya, a.k.a. Patty Hearst, and the SLA). The obvious point is that when it comes to be judge, jury, and executioner, Dirty Harry does not make distinctions, ideological or otherwise.
On the one hand the villains in "The Enforcer" are the weakest of any of the films in the series, but then the ELA is only Dirty Harry's target and not his opponent. That would be Kate Moore (Tyne Daly). The film begins with another example of how Dirty Harry has this bad habit of going after criminals on the streets of San Francisco in his own special way (hey, criminals ask for a car, Harry gives them a car), which always gets him punished by being transferred from Homicide to something less fun like the Personnel department, which is where he ends up this time, working on the promotion board. When he first Moore she is up for a promotion and although he puts her through the wringer, making clear his disdain for the idea that a woman can be a good cop, the politics of the time not only ensure that she gets promoted to fullfill some quota, but the ironic frame of the film means she ends up being Harry's partner when he is put back on the street so that he has a chance to go around and shoot more people, who, this time around at least, tend to start shooting first so that it is more self defense than natural orneriness when Harry starts firing back with greater accuracy and bigger bullets.
Moore surprises Harry because she is not stupid, either in what she says or does, and manages to learn from him despite his attitude and unwillingness to explicitly teacher her anything about the job. Of course, in due time she actually saves Harry's life and he is forced to mumble something about how he could have a worse partner than Moore. Of course, in retrospect we are not surprised that Tyne Daly, who went on to win four Emmys (including three in a row) for her consummate performance as Mary Beth Lacey on "Cagney & Lacey), can hold her own with Clint Eastwood. Given how laughable the hippie revolutionaries are this film could have ended up being a big joke without her performance and the chemistry she has with the star, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that there is absolute nothing sexual about their relationship.
The best parts of this movie are Harry and Moore establishing their relationship and becoming a team. These are the scenes that have not only the most humor, as Harry's chauvinism runs into Moore's competence, but also that actually bet beyond the facade of the character of Dirty Harry. This is what makes many of the action sequences, in contrast, to seem so cartoonish, especially in the film's end game when the mayor is kidnapped and Harry gets to use a bazooka during the final shootout on Alcatraz Island. It might seem strange that the interpersonal relationship is the best part of a Dirty Harry movie, but that is the part of "The Enforcer" that gets five stars, while the violence that was supposed to be the big attraction gets only a three (and the film almost loses another star because of the costumes and music, even more so now that they are both so outdated)."
Robert Morris | Dallas, Texas | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the third of five "Dirty Harry" films in which Eastwood stars as a San Francisco police detective. By the time the last appeared (The Dead Pool, in 1988), Eastwood had aged and times had changed but Callahan's non-negotiaable values and unorthodox methods had remained essentially the same. What I find especially interesting in this film is the relationship which develops between Callahan and his partner Kate Moore, skillfully portrayed by Tyne Daly. Until now, Callahan has indeed been a "lone ranger," alienated (by choice or circumstance) from his superiors and fellow officers as well as from the criminals whom he pursues with deadly efficiency. Over time, Moore eventually earns Callahan's respect and trust (albeit grudgingly) as they attempt to rescue San Francisco's kidnapped mayor (John Crawford) amidst all manner of mayhem unrelated to that assignment. Credit James Fargo with keeping the narrative flowing smoothly. The supporting cast is solid, notably Bradford Dillman (Captain McKay) and Harry Guardino (Lieutenant Bressler). There is plenty of action, of course, skillfully presented. Despite its lack of much subtlety or nuance, I recommend it to those with a taste for this sort of urban adventure film. Those who enjoy it should also check out Coogan's Bluff and Bullitt (both 1968) as well as The Gauntlet (1977)."
"If you want to play lumberjack you've got to learn to hold
L. Cabos | planet earth | 12/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third Dirty Harry, this time with Eastwood taking on a gang of crooks posing as terrorists who kidnap the mayor of San Francisco (John Crawford) for ransom. Tyne Daley as Callahan's partner and Bradford Dillman as Eastwood's superior. Mckay: What meeting? Harry: The meeting in this office three months ago when you said a high priority was to run these hoods out of San Francisco. McKay: I never said to use violence. Harry: What did you want me to do, yell Trick or Treat at them? Eastwood's buddy the late Albert Popwell appears for the third time, this time as revoluntionary Big Ed Mustafa. Last appearence for John Mitchum as Frank D'igeorgio and a really pyscho performance by Devereen Bookwalter as Bobbie Maxwell, the ring leader. Grand finale is a battle on Alcatraz."
Middlin' Eastwood in nice Deluxe Edition, details here
Sanpete | in Utah | 03/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Enforcer is the second sequel to Dirty Harry. In this installment, Harry Callahan, the renegade cop with some old-fashioned attitudes and no desire to be tied up with a partner, gets stuck with a female partner, well played by Tyne Daly. Surprise surprise, he learns to respect and rely on her as they make hamburger of a group of domestic terrorists. As in the first two movies, there's plenty of action, suspense, people getting shot, etc., but with a chase on foot in place of the usual car chase.
Whether those with the older DVD will want to upgrade is a matter of personal preference, but the special features look attractive to me:
-- new commentary by Enforcer director James Fargo -- new featurette "The Business End: Violence in Cinema" -- "Harry Callahan/Clint Eastwood: Something Special in Films" -- trailer gallery
This and the other four movies are available on standard DVD both separately and in a 7-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition, which has additional goodies.
They're also on Blu-ray in a 5-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition. Only the Dirty Harry Special Edition is available separately on Blu-ray (here); the other four movies, including this one, are available on Blu-ray in the set.
Here are the links for the Amazon pages for the new separate standard DVD releases of the other four movies in the series:
Dirty Harry Special Edition (2 discs, "special" is apparently better than "deluxe") Magnum Force Deluxe Edition Sudden Impact Deluxe Edition The Dead Pool Deluxe Edition"