Monday, October 14, 2013

Dirty Harry (1971)

Today's film is Dirty Harry.  I thought it was great.  It had a decent story and just enough action, and it didn't seem dated.

The villain is the Scorpio Killer, who was based on the Zodiac Killer in San Francisco.  He targets people at random from rooftops and shoots them.  However, that is totally the wrong size of silencer for a gun that size.  Seriously, the force from an actual shot could have torn it apart.  The correct size is about a foot long, yet because of the kind of bullets needed to reach the distances he wanted, a distinct "crack" sound would still be heard.

Part of the film is spent guessing why Harry is called "dirty".  We know that he operates under his own rules, is racist, is a peeper, and might be crazy.  But we find out that he is called that because he takes every dirty job given to him.  And how does he get away with carrying a handgun that big on duty?  There's just no way.

Even though Harry caught the Scorpio Killer and found the body and the gun, the movie is far from over. The DA explains how the evidence is inadmissible in court and that they cannot charge him with anything. Okay, even though he obtained it without a warrant, automatic weapons are illegal in California and it is a felony to possess one.  Also, he would have been charged with assault against a police officer, attempted murder against his partner that he shot, and resisting arrest.  If Harry doesn't know enough to argue this, then that's his problem.  He could have prevented Scorpio Killer from being released and hijacking the school bus.

Harry stops the Scorpio Killer by jumping on the roof of the school bus and forcing him to stop.  When he has him trapped in front of the water, the Scorpio Killer starts pleading for his life and that he has rights.  This is supposed to enrage us because he obviously doesn't care about any of his victim's rights, not even children's.  And yet here he is exploiting the justice system for his own good.  If Harry were to arrest him again, the killer would be freed and would kill again.  So, Harry delivers some more badass lines and shoots him with his ginormous handgun.

Even though this film is not without its flaws, it was fun to watch.  I will give it a 7/10.

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