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The Dead Pool


The shortest, silliest and least successful of the five Dirty Harry films, 1988's THE DEAD POOL has one redeeming grace and that's Clint Eastwood in his iconic role as the take no prisoners San Francisco detective.

This time around, Harry is assigned to a lightweight and odd case around an arrogant movie director and an on-set list called The Dead Pool. The film crew is betting on which celebrities will die first. When everyone on the director's list starts getting murdered, Harry goes into action.

Liam Neeson has one of his first major roles as the arrogant director, Jim Carrey (billed here as James) plays an off the rails rock star named Johnny Squares who needs a lot of drugs to get through filming. Carrey's facial expressions and physical thrashing were a lot more funny when he used them as Ace Ventura a few years later....

Eastwood has MANY great one-liners and enough sarcastic facial expressions to fill ten movies and steals the entire movie.

Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island, The Green Mile) is dull as a ruthless reporter that falls in with Callahan but Michael Currie returns to play Captain Donnelly as he had hilariously in "Sudden Impact".

There is one very cool but totally stupid action sequence with the killer chasing Harry's car with a remote control car loaded with explosives.

It's exciting and well staged, but seems like an odd fit for a Dirty Harry movie.

The ending sequence in a warehouse is great looking and suspenseful, but the film wraps up out of nowhere, ending a very short 91 minute running time.

Maybe they should have waited for a story more worthy of Harry and the character's film legacy. While it made a small profit, THE DEAD POOL managed to kill off the terrific film series.

After this and two other Eastwood films, Director (and Eastwood friend) Buddy Van Horn went back to directing the stunts on Clint's films, a job he did until "J Edgar" in 2011.

THE DEAD POOL is DOA and gets a C.

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