The Dead Pool
The fifth, last, and possibly most perfunctory and boring Dirty Harry movie, except for a hilarious chase scene involving an explosive toy car. Harry (Clint Eastwood) is up against a serial killer who’s picking off San Francisco celebrities whose names appear on a film crew’s joke list, “the dead pool.” The prime suspect is horror-flick director Liam Neeson. As usual, smart young women who should know better (in this case, Patricia Clarkson as a ruthless TV reporter) keep moistening their pudenda over the decrepit, barbaric Harry.
The movie fires some half-hearted shots at the violence-glorifying media, as if The Dead Pool itself weren’t part of a film series that is perhaps more closely associated with mindless violence than any other American franchise (aside from maybe Rambo or Friday the 13th). There’s slight fun in watching the now-prestigious Neeson eye-rolling his way through this cheap trash, and Jim Carrey (when he was still “James”), as a heroin-addicted rock star, brings a jolt of intensity to his few minutes onscreen before he’s killed off. Personally, I say watch the original Dirty Harry and skip the rest.