Rotten Tomatoes only gives this 1980 action-adventure film a 5.2 out of 10, but I really enjoyed it. It is Steve McQueen’s (1930-1980) last feature film and he plays up the role of a bounty hunter who isn’t as spry as he once was. He is also an hysterically poor driver. I find it fitting that the mega star with a garage full of a hundred classic cars leaves the stage playing a parady of himself.
I was not aware of how rough a childhood Steve McQueen had endured. Raised by a handful of relatives, and beaten repeatedly by his mother’s new husbands, he found himself on the streets several times getting by with petty theft. He entered the Marines before he was eighteen and used the GI bill to pursue acting once he served his tour. In 1959 Frank Sinatra saw something in him and made sure the camera frequently found his close up in the movie Never So Few. By 1974 McQueen was Hollywood’s best paid actor.
If you lived through the 70s, and like cars, you will appreciate the array of vehicles throughout the film. The car chases are not edgy but they are fun. And there are plenty of stunts. The story takes you into some rough urban areas. When you see old footage of people living in buildings that are more or less slums, it is a good reminded of how far housing standards have come in most cities in America.
Lastly, you can’t help but notice the musical score. A full orchestra builds the auditory suspense and it is refreshingly original. Michel Legrad wrote the music; he wrote over 200 movie scores the most notable to me is “The Windmills of Your Mind” from the Thomas Crowne Affair (1968).