Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Movie Review: "The Mechanic" (1972)

Image Source
Movie"The Mechanic"
Director: Michael Winner
Year: 1972
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

A meticulous hit-man (Charles Bronson) takes a young apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) under his wing to teach him the tricks of the trade.

Directed by Michael Winner and written by Lewis John Carlino, "The Mechanic" tells the story of a cold-blooded, methodical hit-man who has uncounted ways to end the lives of his targets. Charles Bronson plays Arthur Bishop, the aforementioned hired gun who has spent the last many years developing a routine of sorts when it comes to killing. After a health scare and the ultimate realization that he doesn't have anyone in his life, Arthur takes a young man named Steve, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, under his wing to teach him all of the knowledge he has acquired over the years when it comes to being a assassin. Steve has shown he has the proper, borderline sociopathic attitude that makes him an ideal candidate to be a hit-man, and Arthur hopes to capitalize on this, but there's just one problem. Arthur has a secret that may very well flip the script on him once Steve realizes who he really is.

"The Mechanic" is a very solid crime thriller. Early on, the filmmakers set the tone and display the skills of their anti-hero protagonist. They show the lengths he is willing to go to in order to kill his marks, as well as his ability to make his assassinations look like accidents. The first 16 minutes of this film are devoid of any dialogue as we watch Arthur assemble his weapons, listen to classical music at a very loud volume, and learn about his finer tastes in life as he sets up his first mark. We really understand the mentality of this character and get drawn in by him despite the fact he kills people without remorse. When Steve enters the story, he is developed in almost the same way as Arthur, by displaying his cold-blooded nature in a scene involving some sort of romantic fling and the sadistic, borderline inhumane way he treats her.

Unfortunately, this movie is not without its flaws. It is a bit uneven. The beginning is much more of a thriller about planning hits and pulling them off seamlessly whereas the second half of the film falls into a more action-oriented style. The assassinations that take place in the second half of the film include vehicle chases and shootouts and aren't remotely clean, but they are always entertaining in a raw, untainted, boom-tastic way. Charles Bronson really lights up the screen with his gruff, hardened exterior. He is always the perfect choice for roles like this due to his rugged look, piercing eyes, and stoic, steely demeanor. Bronson is not a large, imposing guy with an intimidating stature, but he looks like a person who has been through rough, tough, hard times in life, so much so that it wears it this his face, which gives him his intimidating look. I had personally never seen a Charles Bronson picture prior to "The Mechanic," but I really, really like his style and look forward to watching more of his movies over time. The dude did have a pretty rad, fierce mustache. Jan-Michael Vincent is surprisingly excellent as Steve, the flitty but cold protege of Arthur's, but all eyes are pretty much on Bronson the entire show.

Overall, "The Mechanic" is quite engaging and very exciting at times. It is certainly worth checking out to experience an excellent action thriller with a classic 70's feel and a deeper look into the mind of a hired, well trained assassin. Plus, we have to give the movie props for its incredibly tight, very quick, ballsy ending, which pretty much made the entire thing worth it.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

No comments:

Post a Comment