By Marc S. Sanders
It’s no surprise that Harry Callahan is a chavaunistic son of a bitch. He has never been one to be shy about his prejudices, after all. In 1976, viewers found it endearing in an ironic way. Today, the character would never be produced into a studio film.
The third entry in the popular Dirty Harry series called The Enforcer is good but does not hold up as well as I remember. By the end, Harry must upgrade from blowing the bad guy away with a bazooka. He can no longer settle for his trusty .44 Magnum. It makes sense. Make everything your protagonist normally does do the same thing he’s always done, only make it bigger, and more actiony!!!! Not much interest in the on-screen chemistry that Clint Eastwood will have with said bazooka though.
Fortunately, there’s a better angle here and that is through actor Tyne Daly, as Harry’s new partner. Daly is terrific as one of San Francisco’s first female Police Inspectors who has to live up to the muster of a violent city as she accompanies a violent cop. It’s a great character that draws out feelings in Harry. She gives him pause to care and think beyond himself. Eastwood and Daly are where the chemistry is really at.
Everything else is kind of a waste really. Callahan never goes toe to toe with the main bad guy, a leader of a militant group terrorizing the city. This villain is nothing great or exciting.
Still, beyond Daly there are some great action scenes such deescalating a liquor store hold up by plowing a squad car through its front door. Makes sense, right?