Movie Review: Magnum Force (1973)

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?!

Ladies and gents… “Magnum Force”.

Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is back to solve crimes. This time he is trying to find and stop a group of vigilantes who are killing a bunch of less than desirable people in San Francisco. So now we have our “Dirty Harry” adventure set up. And it’s actually a good plot. It’s simple and straightforward without being dumb. Sure, it’s not particularly deep or engaging, but it’s not a bad plot at all. As a matter of fact, I kind of love the premise of it, it’s just that it isn’t as engaging as it could be. So overall the plot here is pretty good.

The characters here are fine, nothing special. Clint Eastwood of course plays everybody’s favorite San Francisco badass, Harry fucking Callahan. And yeah, he’s just as gruff and tough as in “Dirty Harry”, and Eastwood gives his typical Eastwood-y performance here (which I’m a fan of). Hal Holbrook plays the police lieutenant that Harry constantly butts heads with, and he’s great in the role. Felton Perry plays Harry’s partner, Earlington “Early” Smith, and he’s good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Mitchell Ryan, Robert Urich, David Soul, Tim Matheson, and Kip Niven, all doing fine here.

The score for the movie was composed by Lalo Schifrin and it was good. It was very much a product of it’s era, but I do think it worked for the movie, being overall well composed and slightly elevating certain scenes. Though I do wonder about that theme song… I don’t have any specific questions, it’s just weird to me.

Unlike the first movie, “Magnum Force” wasn’t directed by Don Siegel. Directorial duties instead went over to Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the 1968 western “Hang ‘Em High”. And I think he did a really good job here. His directing is tight and pretty tense. The shots also look really good, with some fancy camera tricks being used at several points in the movie. The action scenes in this are also quite good. They’re fun, badass, and entertaining as hell. Sure, they’re not the most memorable, but they’re definitely fun to watch.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Magnum Force” is a solid follow-up to the awesome first movie. It has a good plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and really good directing. The main flaw with it is that the plot isn’t as engaging as it could be. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Magnum Force” is an 8,88/10. So while the movie is flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Magnum Force” is now completed.

A man’s got to know his limitations.

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Every once in a while I like to mix things up when it comes to my movie watching. For the most part I watch dramas or sci-fi with a pretty good amount of brain. But sometimes I just have to sit down and watch something with little brain and much awesome. And for that I go to 80’s and 90’s action movies. They usually have the right amount of awesome (and perhaps some cheese) that it just keeps me entertained. Today we are taking a look at one such movie… although it does have moe substance than you’d expect.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lethal Weapon”.

This movie is set in Los Angeles and follows Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) who just turned 50 (Sidenote: He is too old for this shit). He gets forced to work together with suicidal cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) to find out who murdered the daughter of a friend of Murtaugh’s. They also have to go stop a gang of drug smugglers led by a man named Joshua (Gary Busey). Simple premise… I love it. Action movies don’t need a lot of story since they pad it out with a bunch of cool and badass situations. “Lethal Weapon” is such a movie. I do like however that they add layers to the story with backstories to the characters which we’ll get to in 3… 2… 1…

The characters! They are all pretty great. They all have motivations for what they’re doing. Okay, fine the villain (Busey) simply does his shit to be the bad guy of the movie. But he does it so well because he is Gary Frickin’ Busey. Murtaugh is basically just a family man/cop who does his job (and is too old for this shit). But he works because he acts like a normal human being should(ish). But Riggs… Martin Fucking Riggs is awesome. First off, Gibson got great chemistry with Danny Glover and fits the character perfectly. After the death of his wife he is on the verge of suicide (but never commits said suicide). He is also awesome in a lot of scenes because he is pretty much out of his mind. He is crazy and I love that, it gives great contrast to Glover’s straight up family man. Overall the characters in the movie are great.

The soundtack is done by a nice mix of people. The score was done by Michael Kamen (Highlander, Die Hard). The saxophone part of Murtaugh’s theme was done by David Sanborn. But the most interesting part (for me at least) was who did the guitar playing for Riggs’ theme. It was none other than the one and only Eric Clapton. It all comes together for a nice action movie score.

The shots in this movie are truly great (for the time at least) and the cinematography is great. Sure, it isn’t as good as something by Roger Deakins, but it sure as hell looks great. A fun fact about this movie is that it was written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3). I don’t know why it’s fun, I just do. Also, this is technically a christmas movie since it’s set around christmas… so that’s fun. The action in the movie is also good. Good ol’ classic 80’s action.

This is a movie that has been really well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 67/100. Roger Ebert also seemed to like it since he gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a 7,6/10. “Lethal Weapon” was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound.

“Lethal Weapon” is an action classic. It got a good story, good characters with perfect chemistry between Gibson and Glover, the score is great and the action is really good as well. Now for the final score. Where’s the envelope? No, Riggs… you can’t kill yourself with that… give it here! My final score for “Lethal Weapon” is a 9,65/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Lethal Weapon” is completed.

I’m too old for this shit…