HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  Dead Pool, The Not So Wild About HarryBuy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: Buddy Van Horn
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Liam Neeson, Evan C. Kim, David Hunt, Michael Currie, Michael Goodwin, Darwin Gillett, Anthony Charnota, Christopher P. Beale, John Allen Vick, Jim Carrey
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: San Francisco cop Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) has recently been responsible for putting away a gang lord, which wins him the acclaim of the public but the opprobrium of the criminal underworld. One night soon after the gangster is jailed, Callahan is driving home when he notices he is being followed by a pair of cars. Worse than that, one stops in front of him while the other stops behind, the occupants get out and start firing machine guns at him as he desperately tries to get away, running over one of the gunmen and overturning his vehicle in the process. He won't be kept down, and makes fast work of the other assailants - but he's on someone's hit list...

The Dead Pool was the fifth in the line of cop thrillers featuring the Dirty Harry character, and to many eyes the least of them, although in truth it was downhill all the way after the original. Fittingly, almost every eighties cop thriller had followed the template designed by the first instalment complete with maverick detective and the view that the best way to deal with criminals was to blow them away with your trusty firearm rather than follow proper procedure and arrest them instead.

The script, by Steve Sharon, makes sure to present its main character as fitter than everyone else in spite of his advancing years, and many is the shot of Eastwood jogging, running or even working out. We needn't worry about him, he's invincible as proven by his tendency to escape unscathed from a hail of bullets or even a bomb. The reason he is targetted is because he's on the list of the dead pool of the title, a game played by jaded movie industry people to work out which celebrity will die first, and the names on the list of horror film director Peter Swan (Liam Neeson doing a John Lydon impersonation, bizarrely) are turning up murdered.

Now the first one to to be killed is the star of his film, and he's played by a pre-fame Jim Carrey. It's very strange to see him miming to the Guns 'n' Roses hit Welcome to the Jungle and making with the Ace Ventura moves while he does so, but the big stars have to start somewhere. If there's another bit that sticks in the mind it has to be the world's most ridiculous car chase (that we're supposed to take seriously) where Callahan and his new partner Quan (Evan C. Kim) are pursued by a remote controlled toy car filled with explosive. Incredibly, the toy manages to keep up with their vehicle, perhaps because of how slowly they are driving in certain shots.

As for intentional hilarity, Eastwood gets to fire off a few wisecracks ("You forgot your fortune cookie.... It says you're shit outta luck."), but there's a hypocrisy about The Dead Pool that may rankle with fans. Never mind that one of the murder victims is a Pauline Kael-style film critic, but the film has a less personal agenda, one to take down horror movies. According to this, it's fine that in an action movie like this we should cheer on the hero as he kills the bad guys with barely justfiable violence, but to kill people off in a horror movie is unacceptable. This despite the fact that action movie fans watch these films for their violence. As it turns out, Swan is the only suspect so it couldn't be him, and it turns out to be a fright film obsessive instead. Not the best way for a classic character like Dirty Harry to bow out, then. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2974 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: