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The Dead Pool

I won't lie - I'm a huge fan of Clint Eastwood's work. Whether he's acting or directing, I usually enjoy most of Eastwood's cinematic work. Sadly though, like virtually everyone in Hollywood, Eastwood does sometimes manage to get involved with films that are absolutely terrible. The original Dirty Harry was great - it asked thought-provoking and difficult questions while standing as a solid action flick. This film, the sixth in the Dirty Harry series, is sadly only a hollow shell of the original film. It's mindless, emotionally-void, and sometimes ridiculously over-the-top.

In the film, we once again follow "Dirty" Harry Callahan - a police detective that doesn't play by-the-book and isn't afraid to bend the rules to see justice done. This time around, Harry finds himself involved in a morbid, yet relatively 'safe', game that involves celebrity deaths. 'The Dead Pool' is played by discussing and betting on which celebrities, based on their personal lives, will die within the next year. Things get complicated when a rock star, whose name is on "the list", mysteriously dies in his trailer during the shooting for a low-budget horror film. The director, who plays the game, insists that he isn't involved with the murder. However, as more people on the list begin to die, Harry finds himself in a world of trouble. As if that's not enough, Harry soon discovers that *his* name is on the dreaded Dead Pool list...

This film, as I said, is merely a hollow shell of the original Dirty Harry. All of the characterization and intellect is gone, making Harry seem more like a gruff cop from CSI rather than a misguided anti-hero. We're never given insight into any of these people, including ol' Dirty Harry, and that just makes for an uninteresting experience. If I don't care about the people in the film, why should I care at all? Not only that, but the new characters starring in The Dead Pool are paper-thin and completely uninspired. What's that? A new love interest? And a new partner? That got old three or four movies ago, Harry...

Don't even get me started on the script. It's completely and utterly atrocious. The dialogue seems forced, making Dirty Harry seem like a parody of himself, the characterization's as complex as a paper napkin, and the concept behind the film can't stand under the pressure of a feature-length film. I'll admit the concept is a bit interesting, but the film completely stretches the concept out as far as it'll go. Taking every corner and nitbit it can, the script's a wreck that can't seem to understand subtlety or characterization.

If this wasn't bad enough, the film can be ridiculously cheesy. Instead of being a badass cop, Dirty Harry's simply become a vehicle for violence and snappy one-liners. The action's even worse...and I'm not kidding. There's literally a 15-minute car chase sequence where a toy car chases a real automobile. I understand that there's a bomb in the toy car, but how could the makers of this film not realize how awful that looks onscreen? Oh, and guess how Harry kills the main baddie of the film? HE SHOOTS A GIANT HARPOON AT HIM. I'm not kidding...he literally picks up a harpoon...lets out a one-liner...and shoots him. "He's hanging out back"...? Oh my gosh, what have they done to you, Harry...?

As awful as the film is, I'll give credit to Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson for giving good performances despite of the awful script. Somehow, someway, both actors were able to be believable in a film as ridiculous as this one. Jim Carrey's small cameo also warmed my heart - that man's an underrated and brilliant actor.

Ridiculous, stupid, and shallow are all words that fit The Dead Pool. Dragging a great character's name through the mud, the film lacks any sort of substance that makes the film worth caring about.



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