The Mechanic (review of the 1972 original)

MechanicOrigianlSquareBefore Death Wish, British director Michael Winner and Charles Bronson collaborated on this effective slow-burner about a hitman with the unlikely name of Arthur, who grows a conscience – and adopts a young protégé (a pre-Airwolf Jan Michael Vincent) after being contracted to kill an old friend (Keenan Wynn). Bronson is an engaging, likable presence, and the film boasts a fairly classic old-timer/rookie relationship, with lots of ersatz wisdom imparted about killers, licensed and unlicensed. The action is surprisingly assured from a director better known for the hackwork of his later films – even if he’s a bit too free with the ‘crash zoom’ – and the film boasts a memorably quirky attempted-suicide scene, and a killer double-whammy of an ending. Rent it before you see the remake with The Stath – it won’t spoil it.


About David Hughes: Published Work

Empire and Time Out film critic, screenwriter of award-winning drama "Where the Road Runs Out", and MD of movie marketing agency Synchronicity, and author of books about Kubrick, Lynch and films that were never made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: