June 09, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT


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In Season
Jacqueline Bisset, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Robert Duvall
Peter Yates

Why Hollywood should remake ”Bullitt”

Let’s dispense with the heresy right up top: Bullitt is not a very good movie. It just isn’t. It’s a relatively run-of-the-mill Bay Area detective story — nowhere near as good as, say, Vertigo, Dirty Harry, or even The Streets of San Francisco — redeemed only by one car chase. (And to an audience that’s seen the speed thrills of Ronin, that Mustang-over-the-hills scene doesn’t really hold up.) Yes, Steve McQueen was walking, talking cool, but the movie — about a stoic cop on the hunt for the person who killed the Mob informant he was assigned to protect — just sits there, wallowing in its turtlenecked pre-’70s-ness. Why not take advantage of all the subcultures that San Francisco has to offer and craft a detective story that sends our Bullitt careering through the drug-laced enclaves of Haight-Ashbury, a mobbed-up Chinatown, and the go-go profit-hungry Silicon Valley? Get a director like The Bourne Supremacy‘s Paul Greengrass or Layer Cake‘s Matthew Vaughn — import helmers who can bring both a taut style and an intimate sense of place — to guide Ewan McGregor or, even better, Benicio Del Toro through their paces. And hey, Ford’s got a new Mustang on the road, one that looks like it’s just begging to jump over some Frisco hills.

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