THE ENFORCER (1976)

DIRTY HARRY becomes a trilogy with THE ENFORCER. Once again a solid entry into the series and I liked it, but the thing that concerned me slightly was that the movie structure mimicked the first two film’s almost to the tee.


The movie starts with a crime, then we introduce Harry Callahan who after a brief intro, stumbles upon a crime in progress. He dispatches the criminals in a display of callous violence and then gets chewed out by his Commander before starting on the real case. Yes, it’s effective but when watching these as a marathon it becomes almost ludicrously formulaic. It will be interesting to see if it’s again repeated in SUDDEN IMPACT.
 
Getting back to the film, the hook to this entry is that Harry is saddled with a female partner played by a pre “Cagney & Lacey” Tyne Daly. The girl’s got moxie and though a tad inexperienced, she impresses Callahan where he begins to see her as more than just a quota to keep the Mayor happy. The woman’s lib angle is a little heavy handed but given that this was made in 1976, it’s completely understandable.
 
The movie is paced well and has a satisfying (and explosive) conclusion that ends up with a gun battle on Alcatraz Island. In the end it also has some interesting messages about perception versus reality and it was fun to watch.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013