The Mechanic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mechanic Reviews

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May 6, 2017
Every now and then I want to be taken away by an action film that defies everyday life.
A Charles Bronson film from the seventies certainly ticks that box. Pure escapist action film that although aged in many places has that 95 minute run time that keeps you entertained (especially when there is no football!).

Bronson plays a lone 'mechanic' called Arthur Bishop. Mechanic being an underworld slang for a hitman.
Bishop is meticulous in his 'job' and has performed successfully for many years.

However now in his advancing middle age perhaps he could pass on his 'skills' to a younger accomplice?
The son of one of his recent victims perhaps? Jan- Michael Vincent as Steve McKenna.
That is what the main act of the film concerns. The developing tutoring of the younger character by Bronson's Bishop assassin.

What follows over 95 minutes are action set pieces in Los Angeles and Naples, Italy that wouldn't have looked out of place in a James Bond film of the period but look very tame by modern standards.

The ending of the film is the highlight. A real twist.
Late director Michael Winner may have had his critics but he could certainly deliver entertaining action films in the 70s with Brosnan.

By no means a classic but deserving of a watch if possible.
March 18, 2017
A 70's Bronson classic! The remake was great and stands alone. Startham plays a quiet, in better shape killer, but Bronson is different. Bronson's Arthur Bishop character is different because Bishop suffers from an anxiety disorder, probably from the evil lifestyle, and Bishop's disorder creates a need for an apprentice. Bronson's character is much colder. The plot line of 72 an 11 is similar with Bishop training an apprentice. Both have incredible action scenes! However, there is a slightly different but memorable endings. 4 stars. The Mechanic ages well.
October 2, 2016
Bronson is a real cold hearted cunt in this. When he starts to get emotional and take a victim's son under his wing, he gets, vulnerable and fucked over. It doesn't take too long before the body count becomes higher than the population of Malta. The ending is the fucking balls and one of my all time favourites.
½ September 27, 2016
A great movie that is a must-see for all fans of action and Bronson.
Much better than what reviews say!

8.75/10 or 4.5 stars (VERY GOOD)
½ August 10, 2016
A bounty hunter takes an apprentice under his wings in this Charles Bronson actioneer.
June 27, 2016
There was no internet when this movie came out and it was a huge hit. Back then anything Bronson did was big. So I don't know how this gets a 40%.
June 20, 2016
Saw the original great movie I want to get it on blue ray.
May 23, 2016
The first 16 minutes or so are great, then it gets pretty bad. Damn shame. If it had stayed the vibe it was in the beginning it'd be a classic.
May 8, 2016
Very nice story of a killer and his apprentice...
April 19, 2016
Solid action drama with good leads. I liked how calm and quiet Bronson was. Special effects still hold up well. Some exciting sequences. Throw in some cliff hangers along the Italian coast as well. Intriguing relationship between master Bronson and apprentice Vincent.
Great 70s feel helped by Jerry Fielding score.
½ March 24, 2016
A mediocre 70's action film that really drags and lacks anything memorable.
September 21, 2015
blew us away in theater. Loved it.
Super Reviewer
½ July 26, 2015
Michael Winner's compelling character study about a meticulous, highly-skilled professional hit-man named Arthur Bishop, played brilliantly by the late great 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 an arrogant, ruthless young apprentice, played superbly Jan-Michael Vincent and teach him everything he knows, but things take a turn for the worse when the criminal organization that he works for does not like it, 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. Striking action sequences with an abundance of shoot-outs, explosions, car and motorcycle chases, hand to hand combat, and a respectable body count that will keep the action crowd happy. Astute direction by Michael Winner, with excellent cinematography by Richard H. Kline & Robert Paynter, and a superb score by Jerry Fielding. A memorable crime action classic. Highly Recommended.
April 18, 2015
150417: This classic ends suddenly. Takes me back to a cool time in cinema. Great sound, some funny but cool action. Hated Jan-Michael Vincent's character Steve McKenna and hoped nothing but the worst for him. Other than the final tally, happy with the 100 minutes I invested.
March 8, 2015
It's okay for it's time, meaning that I enjoyed the 70s cinematography and the score. But honestly it should've contained more quickness because it suffers from some really stretched-out character development that I wanted edited out in place of even more gritty, practical stunts that the 70s were so good at delivering. Overall, a fair 70s cinema flick with typical 70s flair.
½ February 20, 2015
A little slow moving for some, but it's an interesting understated movie with a strange homo-erotic undertone and a gritty 70's vibe.
½ February 12, 2015
The first half of this movie is a existential thriller with methodical and boring pacing, focused on the relationship between apprentice and mentor. The second half ramps up the action, for a satisfying but poorly paced thriller about hard men and killing. The second half messes things up, with the heroes using shotguns on far off opponents, but its a quick simple ending that really saves everything. Although not one of his better films, this Bronson flick is passably entertaining.
February 6, 2015
Directed by Michael Winner, who was extremely prolific at this point in his career, between 1970 and 1973, he directed a whopping 7 films, all of varying quality. Here, Winner was offered this thriller written by playwright Lewis John Carlino, who had originally wrote it as a novel, before it was optioned as a film by United Artists. It's actually a good thriller, and it shows Winner could do well with the right material. Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson) is an assassin who works for a top secret organisation, and he's what's known in the killing trade as a "mechanic", who has a sophisticated and complex approach to his hits, he takes time to set them up, covering his tracks well. But, the job brings great stress, and Bishop suffers a blackout as a result. After being assigned to kill one of the organisations heads, Big Harry McKenna (Keenan Wynn), he later meets Big Harry's son Steve (Jan-Michael Vincent), who is intrigued by what Bishop does for a living, and Bishop thinks Steve has the perfect personality for a hitman, and makes Steve his apprentice. It's a very serious action film, but while Winner is known for cutting corners, making his films look shoddily made, this one is meticulously made, rather like the hits set up by Bronson in the film. It's actually the best collaboration between Bronson and Winner, well made and compelling, even though it was remade in 2011 by Simon West.
January 5, 2015
Slow burn which is surprising for what it is.Bronson's cool as ice and Vincent matches him step for step.
December 6, 2014
I remember watching this on TV as a kid and the opening scene just blew my mind. Filmed completely in silence, the audience watched Charles Bronson meticulously set up an elaborate hit on a nameless individual in an apartment building. Bronson sneaks into his home, sets up a time released gas leak to happen at night while the victim is asleep, puts plastic explosive inside a book on a shelf, and then waits in the building across the street to shoot the book, triggering an explosion at just the right time. It was just wild and it still is pretty darn cool today. The rest of the film is an archetypal story I also love. Bronson is an aging hitman (a mechanic) who take on a young protege, Jan-Michael Vincent. The film take a turn with an older generation vs. the younger generation turn is a terrific way. This film is my favorite Charles Bronson vehicle, which was directed by his frequent collaborator Michael Winner. Jan-Michael Vincent is one of Bronson's best costars in any of his vehicles. I'm also always fascinated by Jan-Michael Vincent's quote about himself, saying that he'd have been another James Dean if he'd died after make just three films (this film and "Big Wednesday" were probably two of the films he was referring to). I really think he may have been right, but he instead ruined his career with alcohol, drugs and "Airwolf." But back to this film, besides the memorable opening, it also features an incredibly tough ending, which I won't spoil here, but is terrific. The remake ruined the ending and feeling compelled to leave the film open for a sequel, but this film does it just right. Keenan Wynn has a solid supporting role and Jill Ireland, the real-life Mrs. Charles Bronson, makes a brief appearance as a prostitute. Jerry Fielding provided some of his typically stark 70s action film scores.
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