re-rating, A filming machine that works from the beginning, which combines the functionality of classic cinema with the philosophy of the decade in which it was made: being is to fail. McQueen is a great heir of some actors "mieux de nature" (like Cooper or Mitchum) and Yates is a filmmaker who knew how to inhabit a city, San Francisco, with an incisive defined camera. The final chase at the airport is anthological.
Yates' directing style holds a lot of similarities to the way Kurosawa used to work, from the clever use of locations, the long distance pans during the car sequences to the framing in the more crowded scenes, although the disctintion between the two is visible enough in an overall sense. This is a wonderful action film, everything from the script to the performances (especially McQueen & Vaughn) work perfectly here.
A prime example of slick 60s cool, but is also incredibly uneven. Of course, there's that legendary car chase scenes, as well as several other finely-crafted action and suspense scenes. But the pacing is surprisingly slow, the plot murky, and the characters cold and stiff - which makes the story never as consistently compelling as it should be.
The jazz score is as slick as the king-of-cool himself, Steve McQueen, moodily setting the opening credits, and later preambling the lone sound of accelerating/decelerating engines during the granddaddy of all car chases, for a masculine strut. The police procedural element may have its down times when it isn't in action/suspense mode, and films like The French Connection certainly improved on that a few years later.
Steve Mcqueen always looks comfortable in his own skin. There is a scene where he and his girlfriend go to the beach. That struck me. When a character walks out of the film's plot for a moment of reflection before going back and finishing business. Its a nice touch by Yates
I did not expect this movie to be as gritty, tough, and amazing as it is. Steve McQueen gives another dynamite performance and shows, once again, that he is one of the coolest icons in Hollywood history. And of course the sweet car chase is the very pinnacle of this awesome 60's flick.