The Gauntlet (1977)

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A burnt out cop is sent to extradite a federal witness and finds himself targeted by both the mob and his own police force.

After the success of Dirt Harry, Clint Eastwood made the tough guy cop thriller his bread and butter and The Gauntlet is a Dirty Harry sequel in all but name only. He is the typically laconic booze hound and the witness is the usual smart-mouthed, street-savvy hooker with a heart as they brave a constant hail of bullets. The plot is a little thin, the story being essentially one long chase sequence and Sondra Locke – who was always kind of like Clint’s own Yoko Ono – is not the best actress and actually comes across as rather annoying. Eastwood is as reliable as always however, and this is his show all the way. The direction is rather workmanlike but efficient enough and it all reaches a suitable lead-riddled climax.

Hardly Eastwood’s best but The Gauntlet is still a solid 1970’s action thriller that will appeal to his die hard fans.

6/10

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