Bigger, stronger, faster! Dirty Harry is given the movie brat treatment in a script from John Milius and Michael Cimino and boy does it show from the off. Lalo Schifrin's frantic score booms out over a blood-red background with only the now iconic 44 Magnum visible against it. Eastwood's Harry doesn't need to be seen as the gun says it all for him; powerful, deadly, and reliable.
This time round, just as in the recent Dark Knight, the violence has escalated and Harry like Batman is partly to blame. Rogue cops are systematically executing untouchable crime bosses and anyone remotely linked to them. Milius and Cimino massacre an entire pool party instead of one just one person in the original Dirty Harry. Harry has to deal with multiple villains instead of 1, much like the superhero sequels of recent years, and like most superheroes he is responsible for the creation of his latest nemesis.
Ted Post directs with a machine gun-verve keeping each set-piece tight and functional; a trait no doubt perfected from directing hundreds of episodes of T.V. series. The two writers open out Harry's character with scenes featuring his personal life and have him ultimately conform to the system he so despises because the alternative would truly be a Nazi police state. Magnum Force is gripping, funny, and shocking by turns and a much underrated sequel.