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The Mechanic Reviews

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Super Reviewer

June 30, 2011
The Mechanic is one of the best action films of the 1970's. Starring Charles Bronson as meticulous hit-man Arthur Bishop, The Mechanic is a brilliant, near flawless action picture that also is a portrait into the mind of a killer. A well crafted film that not only has a lot of action, the film shows the twisted, savage side of a killer. Charles Bronson is a cold hearted killer, and he is superb in his role. What makes Charles Bronson perfect for the part of Arthur Bishop is his chiseled tough guy looks, his voice and on screen demeanor, it's really hard to picture someone else in the role. Bronson was born to play such a role. The Mechanic is a mix of action, thriller, suspense and somewhat drama. But the film mostly plays out like an action thriller. The film is a near flawless film that is one of Charles Bronson's finest films. The Mechanic is a classic of the genre. This is a fine action film that has yet to to be topped. What separates this film from most action films is that The Mechanic is not only an action, but a character study into the mind of a killer, we get an idea how a professional killer acts and and carries out his deadly tasks. Not only that, but The Mechanic gives the audience one of the most memorable of all Charles Bronson's films. A well made action film, and one of the defining films of the genre.

Super Reviewer

January 26, 2011
Despite having some of the same trappings of other, similar films, what sets this 'hit man' film apart from the others is that it is at least trying for something more, something deeper besides action and violence. And, at times, it succeeds.

This distinction is immediately noticeable during the opening sequence- 16 minutes free of dialogue that make the viewer pay attention to the details while still amping up the tension and suspense. It's a marvelous sequence, and a great way to get thigns going. I wish more films nowadays would try to strive for a bit of artistry and craft once in a while.

The rest of the film is filled with bits of philosophy (namely existentialism) and high culture. The third act does descend into rousing action, but it is used as punctuation, and is earned as a way of highlighting what the rest of the film had been building up to.

The pacing isn't snail-like, but this isn't a film for viewers who can't handle anything less than rapid cutting, fast editing, and movies that don't take the time to breathe. It's a very underrated film that has a very 70s feel to it. It deserves more attention, so you should definitely check it out.

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2011
One of the best. A true highlight of both Michael Winner's and Charles Bronson's careers. Well-paced, well-written and tightly edited all the way to the abrupt and explosive ending. I absolutely love this film.

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2010
They certainly don't know how to make movies as they used to. Charles Bronson, the original Hollywood tough guy, in probably his most haunting role, as the Mechanic, Mr. Bishop, a Hitman at the top of his trade, a fixer of accidents and problems. though he is getting on in his years, after his last job, he strikes an unlikley friendship with the target's son, whom he sees a younger, ruthless version of himself. Knowing that he is passing into old age, he decided to train a protege in his master craft, all the skills, tools and organisation to be a killer.

But, in taking on a partner, he has become a target himself by his employers.... and they will use the closest person to get to him: his new student.

Defintley a cold and calculating movie, the opening scene sets the standard as we see Bronson at work in his deadly trade. the music score really underlines the cold and brutal nature of the film, and the climax and ending is defintley an original twist and another reminder of the underworld and its cruel fates and irony it presents to those who walk that life.

A gem, a classic, its definitley a standout Bronson movie. Its good I got to watch it just before the remake hits the cinemas with Jason Statham.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2010
Just a really cool movie worthy of Charles Bronson's name. The first sequence alone is a great stand-alone short film, followed by an interesting training storyline. While this movie's main flaw is that it's so predictable, all is forgiven because Charles Bronson's tough attitude and uncompromising behavior make for such a great character and enjoyable experience.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

May 19, 2008
Charles Bronson is an assassin who carefully plans out his hits. While it is an action pic with plenty of gun fights, chases and explosions, Bronson makes you watch his ultra cool reactions to the slow burn of things going on around him. When Jan-Michael Vincent shows his interest in being shown the ropes of the assassin's trade, Bronson settles into being a mentor easily. Then the suspense is built when the young man "shape-shifts." Even in keeping an extra leery eye on his young accomplice, Bronson is always prepared.
Danny R

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2010
A compelling crime drama and character study about a meticulous, highly-skilled professional hit-man named Arthur Bishop played by Charles Bronson in a superlative performance, who works alone and is the mob's most elite contract killer, he has no loyalties, no involvements, and his only relationship is a fictitious one with a role-playing prostitute, nicely played by Jill Ireland. Bishop decides to take on a arrogant and ruthless young apprentice Jan-Michael Vincent in a sold performance and teaches him everything he knows, things take a turn for the worse, the Organization that he works for does not like it at all, and now Bishop himself is a marked man. The film is unique because it shows us the mind of a hit man in fine detail, not only through his actions, but also by his methodical ways. Good action sequences, a abundance of explosions, car and motorcycle chases, hand to hand combat, and a respectable body count that should keep the action crowd happy. Fine direction by Michael Winner, excellent cinematography by Richard H. Kline and Robert Paynter, and a superb score by Jerry Fielding. an exciting entertainment. Highly Recommended.
Sylvester K

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2014
Way overrated than it deserved. The Mechanic is a dull thriller about an assassin taking a young prodigy under his wing to exact revenge on the people that betrayed him. It's got the silent 15 minutes opening, but that's all this film has to offer. It's not as good as many people think it is. (If only the pace can be increased...) And the ending was laughable.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2009
The whole film is very shruggable and disengaging. Didn't care for any of the characters. Then the ending came along, and in trying to be clever, made absolutely no sense.

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2011
Flawless action/thriller and character study of contract killer. Charles Bronson really is the ultimate bad ass, and plays the character of a no nonsense motherfucker perfectly. No dialouge throughout the first 15 minutes really lets the viewer get into this guys meticulous, detached and remorseless mindframe perfectly and the film just doesn't miss a beat after that. Pretty much perfect in every way.
Grifty G

Super Reviewer

February 7, 2009
Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner made several movies together before hitting paydirt with the Death Wish films. In this Bronson plays a lone hitman who takes Jan Michael Vincent under his wing. The scenes of Bronson preparing and executing his hits are the main redeeming value, even if they are a little overly complicated. When Jan Michael shows up, the cheesy dialog goes into overdrive. It also never really establishes why Bronson's loner would give a shit about JMV, or have any interest in messing with the good thing he's got going by working with him. Note: Fred Watkins talked about the opening scenes establishing Bronson's character several times in class, but none of what he said was in the movie. Figures.
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2007
Excellent film. The first 16 minutes is completely without dialogue showing Bronson doing a job. Then it becomes a sad story about fathers and lack of them. Bronson's character seals his fate after becoming a paternal figure to Jan Michael Vincent but still remains a number one ass-kicker til the bitter end. The punk should have watched his step!
July 3, 2014
The Mechanic (1972)

This is one of my favorite Charlie Bronson movies before he started doing all of those cheap Golen & Globus flicks. This is definitely a 70s movie and it hasn't aged well, but it's still worth watching if it comes on TV. The Jason Statham remake is very good and I highly recommend that too.

Arthur Bishop (Bronson) is a mechanic, a fixer, a hit man. He's very methodical and studies his target for weaknesses that he can take advantage of. Part of the fun of watching this movie is the methodical way that Arthur finds and kills his marks, many times making it look like an accident. One day, Arthur is ordered to kill his old boss and mentor, Harry McKenna (Keenan Wynn).

He feels kind of sorry for Harry's wayward son, Steve McKenna (Jan-Michael Vincent) who is just a wandering soul, and takes him under his wing, teaching him the art of assassination.

Arthur's present boss doesn't like the idea of him mentoring Steve and puts out a contract on Arthur.
December 15, 2011
This is a brilliant, nuanced film as long as you only judge it by the time it was made and the horrid remake. As it stands, Bronson gives a great silent performance for the first third, deems to smile a few times in the second act, and gets all kick ass in the last. Director Michael Winner knows how to get the most out of old squinty eyes - having worked with him on CHATO'S LAND right before. He then goes on to work with Bronson on four more pictures, mostly the DEATH WISH series. Jan Michael Vincent barely pulls off anything in the movie, playing the whole thing like a cardboard hipster. Though the 'suicide' scene is a bit far out. Unlike the remake, there is no neat saving throw or crazy delineation between bad guys. Which may have more to do with his hair. Jason Straham is bald, while Broson makes a lot of dramatic use of his bangs here. Pretty much defines his Arthur Bishop. Gritty and grimy, I love the 1970s action pictures.
December 2, 2011
Not one of Charles Bronson's most exciting movies but I did like the twist ending. This is definitely a guy movie with exploding motorcycles, car chases and wrecks, and a sweet Mach 1 Mustang.
June 15, 2011
I grew up watching every Charles Bronson Movie, my Father liked them because he looked so much like him, & because he was a Bad Ass with a Heart.I love a Man that makes me feel protected, & Charles Bronson did that for me .
June 8, 2011
The Mechanic, along with The Eiger Sacntion, are two of the best movies to come out of the '70's and the two best thriller ever made. Stay away from The Mechanic remake. It's garbage by comparison.
March 25, 2010
From the great opening, which has no spoken dialog until around the 13 minute mark, to the wild action towards the final reel, this one is a great little film, well worth adding to the list of Bronson's 'must see' films.

Great film, give it a rental.
December 27, 2009
A solid Charles Bronson action film, it has a great dirt bike chase scene. Fast paced, interesting plot and plenty of action. Good supporting cast. Excellent editing.
February 6, 2009
Bronson as Bronson as he should be, with a little bit of quiet depth. He, by no means, was a dynamic face actor, so it is best when his character has background. And the off dynamic with Vincent works well, especially with the on-going story. It?s a nice neat package of 70s action the way it could have and should have been made consistently.
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