Dirty Harry ★★★★

Perhaps a conservative backlash against the ‘60s counterculture and anti-establishment movements, “Dirty Harry” Callahan does not care who you are or where you are from in his mission to cut through bureaucratic inertia and get shit done. Sure, considering the magnetism of Eastwood’s iconic embodiment of self-possessed machismo, the film could be considered to be romanticising a ‘shoot first (five or six times?) and ask questions later’ approach to justice. But take a closer look and you will see subtle parallels between Callahan and the deranged Scorpio Killer – a juxtaposition which somewhat neuters the criticisms that the film is a mindless fascist fantasy. This is a notion also supported by the film’s very own trailer as it declares it to be “a story of two killers.” Though for me, it is one of those cases in which the reputation ever so slightly exceeds the film itself, this is still a solid ‘70s thriller and ushered in a new breed of cinematic anti-hero.

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