Sudden Impact (1983) vs. The Dead Pool (1988)

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Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
After watching all the Dirty Harry movies, I like the first three, and love the second one as my favorite.

But I feel that the last two were the worst, and hard to decide which was better or worse between those two, for different reasons. What do you think?



I like the original (based on Zodiac) the best. I really like Sudden Impact too. Saw it at the movies when it came out. Wasn't a lot like it back then.
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Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh yeah, what do you mean that there wasn't a lot like it back then? Hadn't Dirty Harry taken off by then, and other movies duplicated it?



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Something like that, the cowboy-cop trope was only just coming into its own in the late-60s/early-70s and Dirty Harry was one of the earliest examples of it breaking through into the popular consciousness.

As for the question, I'd have to say Sudden Impact. I'd say that it's actually one of the better Dirty Harry sequels, though I'm hard-pressed to call any of them particularly good. It sets up the most complex premise of any of these movies (relatively speaking, anyway) and doesn't get as downright silly as The Dead Pool does with its harpoon kills, remote-controlled car bombs, and Guns 'n' Roses.
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After watching all the Dirty Harry movies, I like the first three, and love the second one as my favorite.

But I feel that the last two were the worst, and hard to decide which was better or worse between those two, for different reasons. What do you think?
Sudden Impact is the best of the two. The thing I found strange about The Dead Pool is the way much of it feels like a retread of the previous film. The one thing that does stand out though is the toy cars used as bombs.

I would say that Dirty Harry is the best in the series, followed by Magnum Force, which I've developed a lot more appreciation for over the years. I'd put Sudden Impact third; The Enforcer is a bit poor, and I miss Lalo Schifrin, but Tyne Daly's great in it; The Dead Pool in last place.

I think it's a shame Clint Eastwood didn't do more with the character, especially in his later career. There are even some of his films that probably would have been great if retooled to feature Harry Callahan.



I echo @SeeingisBelieving

Sudden Impact at least tried to handle a serious subject like rape (hammishly).
The Dead Pool was surprisingly dull. The Enforcer was silly and had an awful score, Magnum Force semi intriguing, and Dirty Harry being Callahan's finest hour on screen (with a killer jazz fusion score by Schifrin).



I echo @SeeingisBelieving

Sudden Impact at least tried to handle a serious subject like rape (hammishly).
The Dead Pool was surprisingly dull. The Enforcer was silly and had an awful score, Magnum Force semi intriguing, and Dirty Harry being Callahan's finest hour on screen (with a killer jazz fusion score by Schifrin).
We should have already mentioned Andy Robinson as well what a character that was. I think he had a lot of trouble after Scorpio with typecasting.

I find Magnum Force very interesting because of the shift in emphasis (not to get into spoilers). It was the perfect sequel really.



Welcome to the human race...
Magnum Force is a little weird because it pretty much exists in response to people calling out the original film for glorifying Callahan exacting rough justice on criminals by creating even more vicious vigilantes and saying "hey, he could be worse".



We should have already mentioned Andy Robinson as well what a character that was. I think he had a lot of trouble after Scorpio with typecasting.

I find Magnum Force very interesting because of the shift in emphasis (not to get into spoilers). It was the perfect sequel really.
Andy Robinson, right. I remember he ended up in "Cobra" some years later. He's got that face where you just know he can act his ass off with the right director. I wonder if he has?



Magnum Force is a little weird because it pretty much exists in response to people calling out the original film for glorifying Callahan exacting rough justice on criminals by creating even more vicious vigilantes and saying "hey, he could be worse".
It's the way they do it that enhances it for me:

WARNING: spoilers below
It's the cold-bloodedness of the motorcycle cops, and with their uniform appearance combined with the music, they're almost like robots.



Andy Robinson, right. I remember he ended up in "Cobra" some years later. He's got that face where you just know he can act his ass off with the right director. I wonder if he has?
A friend of mine made me laugh, as we both loved him in Dirty Harry, saying that he looks "f***ing insane" in Cobra despite just being a perfectly normal copper .

He spent a while behind Cardassian make-up in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing an unusual part.



Sudden Impact looks better, as it was directed by Eastwood, but I can't stand Sondra Locke, any of the bad guys, or how over the top angry they made Callahan. The Dead Pool has a lighter touch and a decent cast, and I've never had any serious problems with it. Still, neither are a favorite.
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Sudden Impact for me! That one and the first DH are the only ones I like to watch!



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Magnum Force is a little weird because it pretty much exists in response to people calling out the original film for glorifying Callahan exacting rough justice on criminals by creating even more vicious vigilantes and saying "hey, he could be worse".
I thought this worked in the movies favor though, as it takes the Dirty Harry theme, and turn it on it's ear so to speak. Because of this, I feel that Magnum Force, is the 'The Dark Night', of the series, if that makes sense.

As for Sudden Impact VS. The Dead Pool, I feel that Sudden Impact is a collection of scenes, for the first half, and the plot doesn't really start till the second half, and the movie is very oddly structured because of that.

Harry doesn't even get his assignment till almost half way through the movie pretty much. The first half is him dealing with mobsters out to get him, and the young adult killers who got off in court.

It feels like the writers looked at their plot with the serial killer going after her rapists and said, we only have half a movie with this plot, so let's add in two more subplots with other antagonists, unrelated, just to fill large time gap.

The Dead Pool has more of a focused narrative because of this, although I guess that movie might have an unnecessary subplot, with the mobster Harry put behind bars as well.

What do you think?



I thought this worked in the movies favor though, as it takes the Dirty Harry theme, and turn it on it's ear so to speak. Because of this, I feel that Magnum Force, is the 'The Dark Night', of the series, if that makes sense.
I was going to compare it to The Dark Knight Rises in terms of the shift in where and who the threat is coming from in The Dark Knight.