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The Dead Pool

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A modified 1/10 scale 2wd Associated RC10 off road racer with an off-the-shelf Parma International 1963 Chevrolet Corvette body was used in the famous chase scene in which "Dirty Harry" Callahan is being pursued through the streets of San Francisco, California by a highly explosive bomb disguised as an R/C car. The "bomb" was driven by world-champion race driver Jay Halsey. The car was in fact was sold with an electric motor being a competition model, which for cars in that scale was at that time only sold and permitted to enter competitions with electric motors; the internal combustion engine soundtrack were added in post-production.



More Behind The Scenes from The Dead Pool
The final installment in the 'Dirty Harry' quintet beings in a San Francisco hotel room at night. Controversial British film director Peter Swan (Neeson) is watching a news report on the conviction and jailing of crime boss Lou Janero (Charnota). The assistant District Attorney praises Detective Inspector Harry Callahan (Eastwood) for his role in putting Janero behind bars. Swan adds the name Harry Callahan to a list of other 'celebrity' names.

The same night Harry is driving home, a suspected Janero death squad attempt to assassinate him on a quiet road. Their superior numbers and M16 machine guns are no match though for SFPD's finest.

Harry's superior looks at the incident in typical fiscal terms... "It cost's the department $13, 453.63 for an unmarked squad car!" Being that this is the third one he has wrecked this month, he's off the streets and into the Publicity Department! The only thing that can save him from this fate is if he accepts a new partner. The new partner is Al Quan (Kim) a Chinese-American and the department think it would be good for their image if Harry 's partner came from the ethnic minorities!

Down at a meat factory Peter Swan is shooting the new music video for drug addicted rock star Johnny Squares (Carrey). The addled rock star is unable to lip-sync with the music, much to the frustration of the director. After a row the rock star storms off to his trailer for a fix. While high on the couch someone sneaks into his trailer and force feeds him some lethal drugs... the rock star dies immediately.

Later we see the killer typing out a list on an old type writer. He pulls the list, it has the names of eight local celebrities, including Johnny Squares and Harry Callahan. He writes RIP by the rock star's name and mails the list to Samantha Walker (Clarkson) at the local TV station.

The TV reporter then runs the story on the news. Apparently director Peter Swan and several other people closely involved in the production of Hotel Satan, were playing a bizarre game which they called the 'Dead Pool'. According to her unnamed source, the object of the 'Dead Pool' was for each player to pick eight Bay Area celebrities who might die, presumably of natural causes, by a predetermined date. The winner of the game was to be the person's who's list contained the most dead celebrities. What is significant of course, is that Squares died under mysterious circumstances while on Swan's set and the dead rock star was on the director's list.

When more people start dying from Swan's list, Harry superiors want him to bring director in. But Callahan ain't buying the murdering director story and looks deeper into the case and discovers he's up against his most insane foe since the Scorpio killer.

Verdict?

'The Dead Pool' has an impressive supporting cast, Liam Neeson, Jim Carrey & Patricia Clarkson. It had the biggest band on the planet in 1988, Guns 'N' Roses as extras... the film also showcased their song 'Welcome to the Jungle'. Yet despite these positive attributes to the film, the final Dirty Harry instalment is a bit Dirty-lite! Callahan is more 'Flirty Harry' than 'Dirty Harry'! He gets all caught up with attractive TV reporter Samantha Walker and his cutting wit and cynicism of the past has been replaced with a more jovial sense of humor. I spouse this film was doomed from the moment Albert Popwell was not included! He had featured in the previous four films. I enjoyed the first 45 mins of this film, but then the miniature explosive car turns up and chases Harry all over the city and the film plunged into risible overdrive. Apart from the aforementioned talented cast the rest of the films cast are made up of comic book characters who are difficult to take seriously. 'The Dead Pool' is part police thriller/part comedy. The parody borders on 'Police Academy' territory and if 'The Dead Pool' was a James Bond film then it would be 'Moonraker'!

Nonetheless, Liam Neeson is impressive as arrogant Brit film director and Eastwood still delivers great lines and gun shots. Disappointing end to the Dirty Harry series.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Eastwood, Neeson & Carrey... not forgeting GNR's Welcome to the Jungle!

Weaknesses? Weak plot, comic book charachters.

Our rating: 5 out of 10


Review Written by Stuart Fitzgerald:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Stuart Fitzgerald
The Dead Pool