Brannigan represented John Wayne's second and final movie in which he plays a contemporary streetwise detective.
The film involves him travelling to London to extradite a mob boss called Ben Larkin played by John Vernon, upon arriving in London Brannigan discovers that Larkin has been kidnapped whilst under surveillance from Scotland Yard. The remainder of the movie follows Brannigan in conjunction with Scotland Yard headed by Commander Swan and their attempts to locate Larkin and bring him to justice.
Brannigan is rather a good movie in which John Wayne exercises his enormous charisma and charm on screen to great effect. The movie is somewhat more light-hearted than Dukes previous cop movie 'McQ', however it still manages to deliver some rather dramatic moments such as the kidnapping scene and Brannigan's ongoing battle with a persistent hit-man.
Brannigan is faced with the problem of being continually compared to Clint Eastwood's detective movies and most comparisons made usually look unfavourably upon Brannigan which is unjust. Whilst Eastwood's 'Dirty Harry' movie is undeniably a better movie than Brannigan a strong argument can be made that Brannigan is superior to all sequels to this movie as well as 'Coogans Bluff' and 'The Gauntlet'. Several of these movies are clearly lacking in ideas and some of them have a cheapness about them, 'The Enforcer' and 'The Dead Pool' spring to mind within this category. However they do have an undeniable appeal and are generally enjoyable movies they are certainly not cinematic masterpieces and many are living on the reputation of 'Dirty Harry'.
Brannigan also fares better than 'McQ' due to the cinematography being fresher and more fluent, better acting, directing and stronger characters, these factors all combine to create a better overall movie. However the movie does have its weaknesses such as an overdrawn money switchover that results in Duke pushing a young Tony Robinson into the Thames. The movie also suffers from some poor editing within it particularly prevalent during the opening sequences involving a police car tracking Brannigan while the opening credits are being screened; the scene becomes too long and ineffectual. However these weaknesses do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the movie.
One of the best aspects of movie is the culture clash between America and the UK, John Wayne and Richard Attenborough act as a microcosm of this clash, with each trying to impose their methods upon the other. Brannigan's insistence on using physical force during the investigation contrasts with Attenborough's analytical and methodical approach to detective work. In fact the on screen pairing of both Duke and Attenborough was a stroke of genius as the two men play of each other very well, their scenes are well written and there's an undeniable energy and excitement these scenes.
Brannigan will never be remembered as one of John Wayne's best movies which is perhaps accurate, however it is also not remembered as a good movie which is completely unfair, it has some great scenes, interesting characters and a good storyline, it certainly deserves a much better reputation than it currently has.
Action / Comedy / Crime
Action / Comedy / Crime
Jim Brannigan is sent to London to bring back an American mobster who is being held for extradition but when he arrives he has been kidnapped which was set up by his lawyer. Brannigan in his American Irish way brings American law to the people of Scotland Yard in order to recapture this mobster with both A price tag on his head and a stuffy old London cop to contend with.
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March 28, 2015 at 07:03 PM