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YMMV / Magnum Force

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: After Davis murders McCoy in the parking garage, a close up of his face (The Reveal that he is the killer) when he is taking control of the crowd who heard the shots suggests he really enjoyed being the center of attention that came with being the first on the scene. In other words, are he and the death squad really just the ruthless Knight Templar extremists they make themselves out to be, or is their motivation even more selfish and egotistical- plain old narcissism? Or was Davis putting on a brave, happy face for the crowd and wiping his brow indicates he regrets the idea of I Did What I Had to Do?
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  • Author's Saving Throw: The film was made to counter criticism that the first film glorified vigilantism and Police Brutality.
  • Awesome Music: The title theme, which was remixed into Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Sniper" video soundtrack.
  • Fridge Logic: Smith gets killed when he ignores the ringing phone (Callahan calling him to warn about the bomb) in favour of opening his mailbox. Wouldn't he go to answer the phone first, given that his mail can wait?
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The pimp kills one of his prostitutes in a taxicab with a bottle of drain cleaner. Reportedly, the men who committed the infamous Hi-Fi murders in Ogden, Utah in 1974 had watched this scene numerous times, although when they actually tried it all they managed to do was cause an allergic reaction in their victims. They had to resort to shooting the victims.
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    • The scenes where people are shot in their cars, but the one at the beginning is especially this after the shooting of Philando Castille, in pretty much the same circumstances, such as presenting a driver's license to a cop.
  • I Am Not Shazam: At no point are the vigilante cops referred to as the "magnum force".
  • Moral Event Horizon: The vigilante cops cross it when they begin murdering innocent women hanging out with the criminals and Charlie McCoy.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Robert Urich makes his film debut as Officer Mike Grimes.
    • Suzanne Somers makes an uncredited appearance as one of the victims in the pool scene early in the film.
    • An uncredited Carl Weathers can be seen briefly as one of the demonstrators protesting the Palancio verdict in front of the court house in the beginning of the movie.
  • Special Effect Failure: When Davis goes after the mob boss in the skyscraper in the middle of his three way, the girl quite clearly turns into a mannequin (or possibly a blowup doll) when she falls off the balcony.
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  • Strawman Has a Point: Defied. John Milius suspected the audience could sympathize with the vigilante cops for doing away from some genuinely deserving scumbags, so he threw in a few scenes of them murdering collateral victims to keep that from happening. In the Ricca killing, the vigilante cop executes not just Ricca, but also his driver, his bodyguard and his attorney. The pool party massacre had a lot of collateral victims, many of whom probably had nothing to do with the organizer of the event. Davis' shooting of the pimp is probably one where you can sympathize for a few moments (because that man clearly deserved all six rounds after what he did to that prostitute). But in the Guzman killing, Davis not only shoots Guzman, but he also shoots two hangers-on who were in the room with Guzman at the time, and in the getaway also ends up shooting fellow officer Charlie McCoy.
  • Values Resonance: After the massive increased scrutiny into police brutality, this film has easily aged the most gracefully of the series, with its villains being other cops who take Harry's MO Up to Eleven and show how bad such a mentality really is for people who are supposed to protect and serve.


Example of: