Okay, so I decided to watch Bullitt as my first Steve McQueen movie. First of all, I was probably around 6 months old when this came out to give you my age perspective.
- Let's start with the obvious - the chase seen. Great seeing a chase on the streets of San Fran. Also, while I'm not opposed to VFX (I am a sci-fi connoisseur), it was refreshing to see real action performed by real people. The sound of the car engines was awesome throughout (maybe a little too much tire squeal). Also, even though I've never been either a Mustang or a Charger fan, they cars looked and performed great. It was also funny when the driver of the Charger buckled was waist seatbelt - those were the days.
- I liked the captain character also. Over the years the stereotypical caption is one who is either a over the top yeller who is always threading the cop/detective or he ends up being crooked. I like that this captain was more subdued, stood up for his team, and dealt with the political crap as he needed to. Just seemed to be a more realistic character than what I'm accustomed to seeing in these types of films.
- The overall story line was engaging and had its fair amount of revelations/twists. While not full-tilt action all the time like some of today movies (John Wick comes to mind), I didn't mind the visual story telling, and I liked that the dialog wasn't incessant and over the top.
- As a tech guy, I was intrigued by the fax (telecopier?) machine. I'm sure that was really high tech back then which is why it played a pretty prominent role during that scene. As a second tech observation, all of the rotary phone dialing was awesome too.
- I really enjoyed seeing the airport scene in the late 60's. In reality, it hasn't changed that much as it relates to herding people on and off the planes.
- It was fun seeing well known actors of recent times in relatively minor rolls. Robert Duvall as a random cab driver and Norman Fell (Mr. Roper from 3's Company) as the senator's investigator where fun surprises.
- I'm assuming this movie may have been a little progressive for its time with the casting of the lead doctor. I don't usually have much positive to say about Hollywood, but this is one case where progressiveness was a positive thing in breaking stereotypes.
- Well, for me there was really only one thing that I didn't like - the sped up cameras in various parts of the chase scene. I don't know why film makers during that time thought that speeding up the camera 1.5 - 2.0 times would give the impression to the audience that everything looked normal but was moving really fast. It just looks plane stupid to me, where real-time speed would still convey enough thrill and action for what was going on.
Overall, I give it two thumbs up. It reminded me a little of a Dirty Harry movie (which I like) with the main character being a little more subdued. However, most of the association for me could have just been that it was a cop themed movie set in San Francisco. I enjoyed watching the movie, it kept my attention, had enough suspense, and I ended up liking Steve enough to queue up a couple more of his movies.