McQ is forced from the title on, as a 66-year-old John Wayne throws his (considerable) weight around territory designed for Steve McQueen or Clint Eastwood. Rule-breaking cop, driving a hot car, this time around Seattle instead of San Francisco, with a beach chase on the scenically soggy Olympic Peninsula.
Drugs, police corruption, 70s dialogue, aching like arthritic joints, despite a good supporting cast and production crew. John Sturges, also past his prime, directed with no enthusiasm. Elmer Bernstein scored his 7th Wayne saga perfunctorily.
Gun-gimmick here is a Mac-10 submachine gun, apparently to out-gee Harry Callahan’s .44 Magnum. In a movie lazy enough to give a bad guy character the beat-to-death-on-TV name like ‘Manny Santiago’, you need all the gunshots you can muster. Reviews were dismal and the movie clocked a poor #42 among the moneymakers of 1974.
Pro work to little avail comes from Eddie Albert, Diana Muldaur, Colleen Dewhurst, Clu Gulager, Al Letteiri, David Huddleston, Julie Adams, Roger E. Mosley and William Bryant. 111 minutes and they don’t even show the Space Needle!