"The Enforcer" is a movie in the not-so-grand tradition of lowest-common-denominator action cinema. Stick some familiar characters into a reasonably enthralling plot and then watch it come together with the aid of a few explosions. There's nothing inherently wrong with this approach (even if it did give us Steven Segal's entire career), and "The Enforcer" is one of the genre's better examples--though that's a bit like saying it's the nicest prostitute in the whorehouse."The Enforcer" is ostensibly about Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) and his pursuit of some tree hugger terrorists, though it's quite obviously the simple story of what happens when you drag a bitch-baiting, chest-thumping neanderthal into the twentieth century and assign him a chick partner (Tyne Daly).
There are some pretty funny scenes in here, like when Harry starts warming up to said partner, displaying his newfound open-mindedness by being polite and drinking apple juice. The humor is all in the way that Eastwood tries so desperately to hide his sneer--he's visibly annoyed that the series is moving away from its orignal ruthless aesthetic.
Screenwriters Stirling Silliphant and Dean Riesner try their best to make this, the third Callahan film, an enlightening, vaguely feminist experience--but it's just not happening. All those silly, half-assed morsels of equality about women in the police force stick out like a sore thumb and ruin a good lot of the dialogue scenes.
It is to James Fargo's credit, then, that the chase scenes remain enjoyable. They aren't as plentiful as in previous installments, but that just makes the ones we do see all the more thrilling. And some nice footwork, a pleasant surprise after the endless vehicular pursuit in "Magnum Force."
Finally, and most importantly, this movie has explosions. Lots of 'em. It's all about a group of hippies who hijack a bunch of blow-shit-up equipment and then employ these destructive devices to aid their cause. Luckily for us, the scenes in which the cause in question is identified were left on the cutting room floor, leaving more room for explosions.
Man, I just LOVE watching shit blow up.The acting is terrible and James Fargo couldn't direct to save his life. So what? A worthy sequel to "Dirty Harry" in spirit alone, and good times had by all.