Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brandon Peters ranks the Dirty Harry films...

Ranking the Dirty Harry Franchise

Like with Bond, at the end, I’m going provide my ranking of the entire series.  Unlike 007, nothing changed with my rankings this time around.  It's pretty much locked down.  I do recommend four of the five films in the series though.  Only one of the five qualifies as a genuinely bad film. Without further adieu...

5.  The Enforcer
This film just bores me to tears.  There’s a line here or two from Harry, but since I was in high school, I’ve had a hard time not falling asleep to this one.  For this retrospective, it was one of the few times I kept awake for the whole film.  I think maybe it’s the execution and directing that I don’t like.  This film isn’t much to look at and it doesn’t pace or play out well either.

4. Sudden Impact
When I was younger, I used to hold this one up pretty high.  It was a lot of fun, Harry was bad ass, there’s the “Go ahead, make my day” line.  But over the years, I’ve seen it as more of “this is kinda dumb and silly, but I’m enjoying myself”.  This film is harmless, but it’s not the best, even if it disguises itself as better than it is.

3. Magnum Force
This is a really good sequel.  It’s grown on me a lot better with age.  Some of it is a little dated and it brings a tad of camp, but its some good viewing.  A lot of the film’s plot and details do feel pandering to those complaining about some of the issues in the first film.  It feels a little obvious, but not distracting if you’re unaware of the gripings of the first film back in the 70s.

2.  The Dead Pool
As I’ve just written, this one is a heck of a lot of fun.  If there’s a Harry movie I can just pop in at any time and run with it, its this one.  Its so close to being first based on sheer watchability, but its just not that “great” film that the #1 on this list is.  So much fun though.  I could easily understand if someone finds this to be the best.

1.  Dirty Harry
This is just a really damn good movie.  It has the best villain of the series and an all time great.  The film brings up some questions from both sides of violence arguments.  Eastwood as Harry was never better than the first 2 films, and here especially he’s great.  This film is exciting, well acted and dark.  Its not afraid to be honest, its not afraid to tell things like they are and its not afraid to let Harry Callahan stay true to his character.  You’ll be hard pressed to find an honest, uncompromised film like this nowadays.

Well, another one in the can.  Was anybody following along with this one?  Haha.  If so, do you agree/disagree with my rankings?  Did anybody discover this series for the first time in order to follow along?  What’d you think?  Leave your comments below.

Next we begin Die Hard in anticipation of A Good Day To Die Hard.  Now I KNOW most of you have seen those!

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For those who care for Scott Mendelson's thoughts on the franchise, read "Dirtying the Waters"
Deconstructing Harry: Are the Dirty Harry films really the right-wing propaganda they are presumed to be?

1 comment:

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