This sequel to Dirty Harry (1971) found San Francisco cop Harry Callahan pitted against a cell of vigilante cops who act as judge, jury and executioner (much as Callahan had himself in Dirty Harry) in exasperation over the number of felons escaping punishment from the congested and toothless courts.
Harry makes his own violent stand against these miscreants, but by 1973 the vigilante was well on the way to becoming the Seventies new screen hero.
Eastwood oozes laconic cool and confirms his superstar status, even if the storyline here is more brutally violent and fails to explore the moral complexity of the original – Ted Post is no Don Siegel when it comes to direction.
Nevertheless, the climactic chase and showdown on board a deserted aircraft carrier is gripping, and it’s intriguing to see future TV stars like David Soul (Starsky and Hutch) and Robert Urich (Spenser for Hire) cut their teeth playing rookie motorcycle cops.
Clifford A Pellow