Dirty Harry Callahan returns for his final film adventure. Together with his partner Al Quan, he must investigate the systematic murder of actors and musicians. By the time Harry learns that the murders are a part of a sick game to predict the deaths of celebrities before they happen, it may be too late...
|Release Date||:||July 12, 1988|
|Genres||:||Action, Crime, Thriller|
|Production Company||:||Malpaso Productions, Warner Bros.|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Buddy Van Horn|
|Writers||:||Steve Sharon, Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink, Duke Pearson, Sandy Shaw|
|Casts||:||Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Liam Neeson, Evan C. Kim, Jim Carrey, David Hunt, Michael Currie, Michael Goodwin, Darwin Gillett, Christopher P. Beale, John Allen Vick, Jeff Richmond, Patrick N. Van Horn, Sigrid Wurschmidt, Justin Whalin, Anthony Charnota|
|Plot Keywords||:||prison, detective, gun, fight, chinatown, hitman, gangster, media, police, stalker, sequel, murder, mafia, reporter, explosion, violence, neo-noir|
This was altogether too simple for the critics back in '88 -- the whole idea was to point the barrel of the joke right back at the criticism.
Whereas the previous Dirty Harry features sat on a platform of utter contempt for bureaucrats and political correctness, here it's expanded to contempt for journalists, and especially the subspecies of 'media critics'. As if they couldn't make it clearer, a 'movie critic' is murdered, and treated as an occurrence of 'death of celebrities by threes'.
Yes, this is explicitly about movie making; the previous four movies suffered from poor supporting casts that only got in the way of the narrative. Here Van Horn deliberately employs good actors to play bad genre roles and thus turns the series on its head.
Along the way, we get a nice comment on "Bullitt", this time deflating the over touted car chase with a gag: an explosives laden model '63 Z06 (instead of a fastback Mustang, to drive home the point).
By this time, the .44 Magnum is treated as a character, with a 'voice' that rolls off the cityscape like thunder...the bad guys run at the mere sight of it. To put the icing on the 'man with the biggest gun' motif, Clint dispatches the villain with an earlier one liner ("you're S.O.L.") and a movie prop harpoon. The elaborate conflation of sexual double entendre, humor and cowboy justice went soaring over many heads. Arnold wishes he was half this funny in "Last Action Hero".
Ah, we miss Harry...but his retirement to Carmel was both serendipitous and necessary. By the end of this, he's killed off every cartoon bad guy left in the movie universe, paving the way for both the dimensional villains of "Die Hard" and its ilk, AND the hosannas bestowed on "Unforgiven".