The Enforcer (1976)

tAeUxFqTZcwVGuvUJMqNUcyojGFAnother day, another dead partner. By now Dirty Harry Callahan has learned that anyone and everyone who bothers to get remotely close to him will eventually turn up dead. And their deaths will be pretty painful. Harry is not a man concerned with self-pity and remorse as he spends most of the movie concerned with trying to stop an evil environmental terrorist organization rather than sulking about his latest partner who is brutally stabbed during a botched arrest of the vicious hippy terrorists. The villains in this piece aren’t as menacing as Scorpio of the vigilante cops in the first two films, and their presences are mainly forgettable for the most part. The real draw is watching Harry trying to find a lead in to the organization’s secret base. When they kidnap the mayor of the city and hold him for ransom, Harry finds he must step up his investigation.

Following along with the trend, Harry is no longer assigned male partners and is teamed up with a female partner. Dropped to personnel, he agrees to interview a new slate of potential officers, and takes a liking to Kate Moore. Tyne Daly is a scene stealer as young Kate who spends most of the movie trying to catch up with Harry and risking her life to bust the terrorist organization in spite of Harry’s best efforts to distance himself from her. Daly’s character is a very complex and interesting sidekick to Harry’s antics and she plays the officer with ease. Her exploits make for the most exciting scenes in the film, and she balances out Harry’s more cartoonish antics whenever dealing with criminals. Harry for the most part has become something of a parody of the Harry we saw in the first two films. His first time out on the beat involves botching a fake heart attack victim in a restaurant, and completely demolishing a grocery store just to catch a couple of robbers. Why he isn’t in jail or in a mental ward is beyond me, at this point.

But Harry gets the job done and by the luck of knowing everyone on the force and raking in his share of fans, he lives to see another day of duty on the job. “The Enforcer” focuses on Harry implementing his classic interrogation methods and fist pounding skills to get answers from local thugs to locate a prostitute who may know where the ring leader of the terrorist group is hiding. Along the way Harry gains a new respect for Kate as they bond over the case, and Harry learns that the new age of cops aren’t exactly push overs as he originally perceives them to be. Daly as character Kate is very empathetic and riveting to watch and her displays of heroism are exciting and worth the watch alone. While “The Enforcer” is not the final KO in the one two punch that was “Dirty Harry” and “Magnum Force,” this is still a pretty entertaining entry in the series. While Harry gradually transforms in to a caricature, “The Enforcer” is a strong if flawed entry in the film series with the added benefit of a memorable and dazzling supporting performance by Tyne Daly and some raucous shoot outs.