Magnum Force is directed by Ted Post and collectively written by Harry and Rita Fink, John Milius and Michael Cimino. It stars Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul, Felton Perry, Tim Matheson and Robert Urich. Music is by Lalo Schifrin and cinematography by Frank Stanley.
The second Dirty Harry movie finds Inspector Callahan on the trail of a vigilante group who are offing Frisco's villains.
Following in the wake of Dirty Harry was never going to be easy, Don Siegel's film was very much a trail blazer of sorts, giving the movie lovers of the world a different cop than that which was accustomed. So what to do with Magnum Force then, the inevitable sequel given Dirty Harry's popularity? The makers come up with a great idea, have Harry confront a group of vigilantes who believe in his own kill crime ethics, only they take it to the extreme.
So begins a trail of blood for Harry to follow which leads him right where we the viewers pretty much knew he was going to end up. Post is no Siegel, and although the action and all round testosterone feel that so marked out the Dirty Harry films is exciting and evident respectively, there's periods where the film meanders. The instances that serve to add more complexity to Harry's make-up is welcome, but aside from a jumping bean turn from Holbrook, the director can't get much out of the rest of the cast, as shame since there's a lot of up and coming talent and stalwarts in the mix.
Still, even with its evident problems it's a lively and entertaining sequel, one that doesn't shy away from pushing some buttons and baiting of critics who had disdain for the first film. The ending is a disappointment, though, but the journey is ultimately meaty and macho. 7/10