Magnum Force is a movie that has some very good entertaining moments, while at the same time has a lot of unnecessary distractions. Perhaps it was a sign of the times, or maybe films are always doing things that are typical of their eras.
Clint Eastwood is known for so many things, from his TV days on Rawhide, his spaghetti western films, and the tough character of San Francisco Police Detective Harry Callahan. You may know him best as Dirty Harry. That film I actually saw in the theater, but it was one that was not really my style. I just do not like graphic violence, bloody gore, and bad language. I believe that is why I never saw the sequel to Dirty Harry, which is what Magnum Force is.
Certainly, there is plenty of violence and profanity in this movie, not to mention some nudity, which was not needed at all. That is what bugs me about most of that in films, it is just there to be there. Of course, if you are a fan of Suzanne Somers, especially a male, you probably do not care about that issue since she is one of the naked girls seen in the movie.
The cast is fun and even exciting. I especially love seeing David Soul, Tim Matheson, and Robert Urich as part of the SFPD. I did not realize any of them were in this picture. Then there is Hal Holbrook who is appropriately tough and sarcastic as Callahan’s supervisor, Briggs.
In this film, Callahan has moved from from the Homicide Division to Stakeout, although it is not long before he is recruited back to help with a series of murders.
One thing that does bug me is the need to use one another’s surnames as if the audience was not able to follow a normal conversation. There is one scene in the morgue that is incessant in the use of the names “Callahan” and “Briggs”. It just did not sound natural and actually was a huge detractor for me in the story.
I love the Hogan’s Alley type of competition where Eastwood and Soul each seek out the good guys from the bad guys in mere seconds. It is not easy to decide whether a person is an innocent bystander or a villain in a second, but that is what this exercise helps with. I find it exciting.
All in all, it is a decent film, but it could have been better without some of the distractions.