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"Nolan Kennard
George Cameron
Thomas Stern
Johnny Squares
Molly Fisher
Tony Engedal
Michael Cipriano
Harry Callahan"

The above list of names is a DEAD POOL--a macabre betting pool where the bet is who will die. And the last name on this list is SFPD Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood).

This list is the motivation behind this final film in the "Dirty Harry" franchise. Harry has to find the serial killer who made up this list, not only to save others on it, but to save--himself!!

Harry's new partner (his old partners have a habit of getting killed) is a karate wiz. I personally enjoyed the performance of the actor who portrayed Harry's partner (Evan Kim).

And yes, there is a famous car-chase scene in this movie. But instead of being between two cars, it's between a remote-controlled bomb (disguised as a remote-controlled toy car) and a conventional car driven by our hero.

I thought this chase scene was ingenious. This scene has many similarities with the famous chase in the Steve McQueen film "Bullitt" (1968) which also took place in San Francisco.

For some reason, this movie is underappreciated. The acting is good with top-notch performances from not only Clint Eastwood but from Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and Jim Carrey (his first non-comedy film).

Perhaps it's because of Eastwood's age (he was 58) that this movie is not appreciated. However, he appeared to me to be quite fit. Then, perhaps, people were just getting tired of this character. There are probably many opinions as to why this film is so underappreciated. (As Dirty Harry says in this movie, "Opinions are like a-holes. Everybody has one").

There are five movies in the "Dirty Harry" movie series. In my opinion, the best one was "Dirty Harry" (1971) and the most mediocre was "The Enforcer" (1976). Between these two extremes lies this film, "Magnum Force" (1973), and "Sudden Impact" (1983).

Finally, the DVD itself (released in 2001 and part of the Clint Eastwood collection) has five extras.

In conclusion, this is a worthy addition to the "Dirty Harry" movie series!!

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

(1988; 1 hr, 28 min excluding end credits; wide screen; 31 scenes; rated `R')

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on August 26, 2012
We're told this is the fifth and last dirty harry on the commentary. It's an exciting commentary although they do say clint may come back for one more...i dont comment much on his acting since its an act which resonates so well with the public,who totally sympathize with with his characterization this former mayor of Carmel...in the previous film he sais he finds things in the city a bit tacky. This film of journalism...which is the heart of democracy,and what keeps cities from falling into degeneracy...journalisn and its troubles has been the source of such films as johnny come lately,deadline u.s.a. and Network..and many more...but this story still holds its own and the dialogue is still fresh. As usual there is much thrown in,murders,with knives and atrocities throughout,and harry kills about 14 people some in the back,there is a chinese partner,whom we are told at beginning of the danger and is maimed later on in film...harry puts away a mobster another theme,he's a person who wants to do his job,and puts his life on the line to serve the public and that's where journalism comes in which in the community is a public service,and the community would die without out,like all public services in the city. Anyways Harry doesnt like the press and refuses to deal with them but meets them anyways,he finds the press always going for the Scoop,a famous novel by the way,ratings,with the very attractive person he meets...but as the film goes on he warms up to them...perhaps he wants to draw them out. We also have some martial arts,during the time of bruce and jason lee and kung fu craze,but briefly,but violence is everywhere. Thee is a funny film in a film,where a film critic is assaulted and knife...well not funny. All these elements are thrown in and one final scene,and there are fires burning throughout the film,where an alleged criminal burns himself,but the press around dirty harry wont film him,showing his effect on the press..the commentators say much of the current system we live in is 'confined and constrained' by the court system...or something in the system. There are posters a few times showing 'evil are happy' they find funny the suffering of innocent people like the laughing lunatic,in other words lack appropriate affect...or have it in reverse. This is apparent at the end where commentators comment on sequels..like harry potter..what has so demonized people...all kinds of people since harry goes it alone..there is an interlude where the journalist wants to profile harry..well journalists profile police before they profile criminals...she's already done that..but profiling nowadays is even more prevalent...and makes court cases that much more difficult to prosecute...the commentators who work with clint comment on the super efficiency of their star..and his work habits...these movies have aged well..and are relevant given the problems of our times!!
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on April 27, 2002
That's the main highlight for me in this otherwise ho hum finale to the saga of Eastwood's best ongoing character--Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan. There are those who would say I'm full of it--the Man With No Name rules--but I have to admit to a bias against horse operas--they bore me. However, I'm a shameless cop show junkie. So shoot me already. The main story about Harry investigating a series of murders apparently done from a hit list is predictable--he ALWAYS went after killers who whacked multiple victims. But the chase scene is possibly a reflection of the funny side of Eastwood. No great surprise there, Schwarzenegger found out that he's BETTER at humorous that at straight. But picture Harry thundering through the streets of San Fran in his Ford LTD, bottoming out in dips almost bad enough to lose a muffler--with a toy 'Vette in hot pursuit, whirring along, flying over rises and landing with a clatter. Of course this toy is loaded with plastique and another was used in a previous hit. It puts a whole new spin on the term "cruise missile". And the thing is operated by the passenger in a real car third in line--his job probably takes more skill than that of the real driver. I was falling out laughing. I had to rewind for a replay. I tell you, I bought this film as a Dirty Harry fan, but if I'd known about that scene, I'd have still bought the flick if I hadn't given a hoot about the series.
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on August 21, 2001
Yes it's 1988 and Clint Eastwoods legendary Dirty Harry goes for sequal Number four. There could've been more. Magnum Force 1973 probably my favorite gave Harry a run for his sanity when others saw the scum of society the way he did, Only they decided to kill them. That's not legal. I think. Well this final episode goes back to the original plotline of Dirty Harry 1971 with a single wacko murderer. This time he's killing people listed on a dead pool a sick game which predicts what celeberities will die first. However the pool requires the person to die of natural causes or not be killed by the person who has the name on their list. So we can assume it's not the killers pool. Thus an intelligent plot with Jim Carrey as a stoned out rock artist singing "Welcome to the Jungle". Liam Neeson well plays a horror movie director and Patricia Clarkson an eventual love interest for Callahan as a tenacious and to inquiring TV news reporter. Excellent car chase scene as the killer creates a powerful toy car to chase his prey as an explosive attached to a detinator. The plotline with law officials against the killer may only be half alive today as the reigns have been handed down to Bruce Willis' Diehard flicks and Diehard 3 was back in 1995. I think The Dead Pool which is not as good as the original Dirty Harry or for that matter Magnum Force is about as good as The Enforcer 1976. Of course Clints aged a bit but it's much better than Sudden Impact 1982. A must see for Dirty Harry Fans!
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on May 29, 2001
The DIRTY HARRY series had reached its peak with the relentlessly entertaining Sudden Impact (1983), a peak that fell into The Dead Pool (1988), the 5th and final film of the legendary "Dirty Harry" saga. Although Clint Eastwood did not produce or direct The Dead Pool, it's the one film in the series that comes the closest in capturing what made Sudden Impact such a good film. The Dead Pool has a slower pace, but ranks among the best "Dirty Harry" films. Again, Lalo Schriffin was back to compose the memorable music, but Bruce Surtees, however, was not around to do his amazing camerawork. In The Dead Pool, Eastwood's portrayal as Inspector Harry Callahan is every bit as funny and grim-jawed as it was in Sudden Impact, just one saving grace of an otherwise typical crime movie.
As for the rest of the cast, Bradford Dillman did not return to portray Capt. Briggs (The Dead Pool and the first film are the only movies in the saga that lack this character), but Liam Neeson's strong screen presence is here as an arrogant horror film director who may or may not be the killer of several celebrities in San Francisco. Neither Neeson nor even Jim Carrey as a drug-addicted rock artist steal the film. Instead, the film is all Eastwood who chews up every scene he is in.
The Dead Pool has the most memorable car chase since Bullit that is also one of the funniest sequences of the film. Even though The Dead Pool was the last film, I couldn't help but feel that the ending wasn't "final" enough, as if the screenwriters were not certain if it would be the end. There was no turning point or real big payoff at the conclusion to tell me that it would be Eastwood's last "Dirty Harry" film. The ending seemed too typical to make it different. Overall, it just wasn't satisfying. Rated R for strong language and violence.
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I caught this because I ADORE Liam Neeson and heard he played a fairly significant role, but expected to be fast-forwarding through most of it. Instead I found a good, sometimes witty action movie that was generally good, with a few dull spots.
The creepy, druggie star of a ripoff Exorcist music video is suddenly murdered, and among the pieces of evidence is a gambling sheet predicting which celebrities are going to die before the year is up--and director Peter Swan's sheet has the dead man's name on it. What ensues is a twisty little journey that includes fuzzy slippers, a nosy reporter, a hysterical girlfriend, a camera accident, and a remote-controlled car.
Eastwood does his usual understatedly excellent job, and his sidekick is a gem! Liam Neeson plays the obnoxious, up-yours Peter Swan, who apparently believes that the entire world was created for the sole purpose of annoying him. Even casual Neesonites should see this--you'll love it!
The last of the "Dirty Harry" movies show that they are still a guilty pleasure.
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on November 30, 2001
The Dead Pool appears to be the last Dirty Harry adventure, which is a good thing. It lets the series go out with an entertaining sleeper hit of a movie.
The death of a rock star on a low budget horror movie set seems routine until a member of the production crew is killed in an unrelated crime. Turns out that the rock star was on a betting list of sorts, whomever has guessed the most high risk celebrities to have died during production wins the pool. And Harry Callahan, thanks to his recent arrest and conviction (a series first by the way) of a high profile mafioso, is on the director's list. Harry is not amused, especially since it turns out that a psycho has decided to tilt the pool in the director's favor.
The Dead Pool is more than a bit tongue in cheek. On several occasions it comes close to making fun of itself. Still the suspense and action level is quite high and the pathology of the psycho killer is refreshing in its realism. Highly recommended.
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on April 10, 2001
Fourth sequel to 1971's "Dirty Harry" has Harry tracking a psycho whose celebrity "death list" includes himself - and all the other celebrities listed with him are dropping dead. He now has a competent Chinese-American partner (Evan C. Kim) and the attentions of a pushy reporter (Patricia Clarkson) who wants his story - fame and publicity for her if he suddenly dies. That's probably why he won't give it to her. He's also dodging bullets from the henchmen of a mob boss he put away. Busy guy. More fun than "Sudden Impact", which was often unpleasant and didn't really feel like a "Dirty Harry" anyway. Check out Jim Carrey as a junkie rock star who mimes to Guns'n Roses. This is the only "Dirty Harry" movie where Albert Popwell doesn't appear; in each of the previous four films he plays a different character each time. Harry has some great dialogue here and this is a fine wrap up for the series.
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on June 2, 2001
Eastwood In his fifth and final performence as Inspector `Dirty` Harry Callahan plays with rugged style and effiecently that makes this film one of the standouts in the series. After putting away a mobster behind bars Callahan becomes a media hero and at the same time his name is put on a sick twisted list called The Dead Pool a list of celebrities all predicted to die withen a year things get out of control when a psychotic film buff takes this list serousley and starts killing them one by one. Straight forward action all the way and Eastwood`s strong presence is put to better use here then the previous Dirty Harry film SUDDEN IMPACT. The highlight of the film was the remote controled bomb car tailing Callahan Throught San Fransisco I Highly doubt a little toy care can go that far. Otherwise a fitting end to a long running series.
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on June 9, 2010
though not the best of the Dirty Harry films,this fifth and final entry in the series is not without its merits.the acting is good.the movie is well paced.the overall feel of the film is one of sleaze and grime,which is probably what they were going for.Patricia Clarkson classes things up substantially and is a great romantic interest for Harry.i wouldn't be broken be too broken up though if i didn't see this entry for at least another five years.the most i can say is it's average at best.it doesn't stand up to the other entries in the series,except maybe number 3,The Enforcer.for me,The Dead Pool,AKA Dirty Harry 5 is a 2/5
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