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Magnum Force 1973 ****

While all of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry sequels have their merits, Ted Post’s 1973 outing probably stands the test of time, expanding the universe from Don Siegel’s film and repositioning Harry as more than just a vigilante cop, but a tremendous force of moral responsibility. Instead of tracking down a serial killer, Magnum Force sees Harry Callahan on the trial of policemen who have taken the law into their own hands, dispensing justice his way. John Milius is the ideal man for writing duties, giving proceedings a macho swagger that’s ideally suited to the star. Extra bit of action, like Harry’s brusque treatment of an airport hi-jacking , keep the motor running, and the extended aircraft-carrier climax is satisfying. And Eastwood is very much the star turn, sporting great shades and making Harry is cooler, more ambivalent character without sacrificing any of the character’s drive for justice.


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