Play the Game

The Dead Pool has nothing to do with Deadpool. It’s actually the last installment in the long-running Dirty Harry franchise. Clint Eastwood is too old to make more, but he was happy to return 5 years after Sudden Impact. This time Magnum Force stunt coordinator Buddy Van Horn is the director. It certainly feels that way, since The Dead Pool is the silliest film yet. Even the catchphrases, like the one about opinions being like a**holes, are a little silly. Inspector Harry Callahan is old, but he’s more famous than ever when he puts away a violent crime lord.

Callahan deals with the press including the morally grey, romantically interested journalist Samantha Walker. A young Patricia Clarkson plays the part along with early roles for Liam Neeson and even Jim Carrey. Neeson is British horror movie director Peter Swan who starts the titular dead pool of celebrities including Callahan. Carrey has done an Eastwood impression many times, but it’s still jarring to see him in one of his films. Johnny Squares is a rocker who OD’s in a dead pool inspired murder.

Other celebrities die while Callahan continues to stop petty crimes and other criminals. Inspector Al Quan is his latest unlucky Asian partner who unsurprisingly knows kung fu. The Dead Pool feels a bit disconnected with no role for Albert Popwell or gratuitous nude scenes. It’s violent, but in an over-the-top way. The murderer ends up being an obsessed horror fan who uses a remote controlled toy car to kill Callahan. I shouldn’t be surprised that a harpoon gun finishes the job in the end. The Dead Pool has an easy hour and a half runtime, but it failed to give Dirty Harry a proper send off.

5. The Dead Pool

Dirty Harry takes aim

Preceded by: Sudden Impact

2 thoughts on “Play the Game

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