Charles Bronson delivers [in this] action-drenched (Variety) gangster thriller that delves into the dangerous minds of the underworld's most elite killers. Visually alive (Cue) and 'totally engrossing (The Hollywood... more » Reporter), The Mechanic is a movie you won't want to miss! Arthur Bishop (Bronson) is a mob hit man who operates in a world of his own an uncompromising world where conventional rules of morality don't apply and where one wrong move could cost himhis life! He's always worked alone but, as age catches up with him, Bishop takes on a competent andruthless apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) and teaches him everything he knows. Together they becomean unmatchable team of globetrotting killers until the pupil's ruthlessness puts him on a collisioncourse with his teacher!« less
Dated but great plotline and acting by Charles Bronson.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Anne K. Reviewed on 11/10/2008...
Great movie, classic Bronson action. This is one of his best movies that I've seen. In this movie Bronson is teaching the "Hitman" ropes to a young and eager killer in Jan-Micheal Vincent. Will he take it too far?? This movie has a cool twist at the end. I miss that 70's look in movies. :( They don't make 'em like this anymore. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
The great Charles Bronson
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Bronson (1921-2003) left us a legacy that spanned nearly five decades of acting, in many different styles. Though good at comedy as well as drama, he will mostly be remembered as a tough and gritty man of action, remaining very macho and attractive way into his gnarled, craggy later years, never losing that perspicacious glint in his eyes, or his masculine appeal.
"The Mechanic" is one of his best; a unique film with a taut script by John Lewis Carlino, that remains interesting after many years and many viewings.The first memorable 15 minutes of this film are silent except for the tense, eerie score by Jerry Fielding, and set up the character of Arthur Bishop, who is a hit man with expensive tastes and a heart of steel. It is a part that fits Bronson like a velvet glove, with its complexity, bravado, and action sequences, which are well paced by director Winner, and photographed by Richard Kline. Jan-Michael Vincent is excellent as the cocky, cold-as-ice young man Bishop takes on to teach his "trade", and Jill Ireland (who was married to Bronson for many years) does well in a miniscule part.
Michael Winner made several films with Bronson, another favorite being "Chato's Land", which is an unusual, and very special Western.The intricacy of the plot will keep you guessing; this is not your typical, predictable action movie, and like most films made in the '70s, it is fun to watch, with its nifty fashions and slightly tacky décor.
A must see for those that like intelligent thrillers, and a great film to celebrate Charles Bronson's life and talent"
The first film in Bronson's classic movie trifecta
B.C. Scribe | Brooklyn Center, MN USA | 11/23/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film along with 'Mr. Majestyk' and 'Death Wish' represent Charles Bronson's early 70's classic movie trifecta. Though he created many memorable characters in a variety of films I believe his cinematic identity can be traced back directly to this trio. In each of them he creates an indelible character as only he could do - each film is uniquely Bronson, they belong to him and him alone. What this film has as its strength is it's central character, Arthur Bishop, who we watch with great interest. Bishop is a cultured, mannered, well-educated man; he has an appreciation for the arts and lives a solitary, isolated existence in a luxurious and extravagantly furnished house. Seeing him alone in this spacious dwelling influences us that he desperately needs someone - anyone - to make a positive connection with. A little later in the film he will pay a call girl to portray a mistress who has been pining away for him. Still later he sits idly by while a young woman commits suicide, coldly relating to her the statistical facts about her particular method of attempted suicide. Bishop is the son of a deceased criminal kingpin who continues to associate with his father's former cronies. He forms a bond with the son of one of them and that is what forms the crux of the story. The excellent screenplay concentrates more on character study than supplying a liberal amount of action sequences that typically augment so many movies of this genre - and this decision helps raise it to a higher level.Though the movie is relatively low-key for the most part there are the requisite action scenes that mark a typical Bronson film. Undoubtedly, the opening of 'The Mechanic' is among the most memorable introductory sequences for a film of the action genre. The first fifteen minutes of the film centers around the elimination of a drug dealer. Bronson studies his quarry with great precision, evocative of the style used in the popular television series 'Mission Impossible'. There is not a word of dialogue spoken; only background noises or incidental pieces of conversations on the street are present. There is an exciting motorcycle chase as well, punctuated with bits of humor; a car chase in Naples, punctuated by a gunfight, is also one of the highlights. But what makes `The Mechanic' a cult film favorite is the incredible double-twist ending that you don't see coming - and it makes for one of the most satisfying conclusions in film history.Other interesting features in `The Mechanic' include the "The Organization" that Bronson works for - it remains tantalizingly undefined. The people of the "contracts" that he fulfills are all criminal in nature and therefore they don't generate our sympathy. Except for the three pivotal role players no one else has a given name. This is done to underscore the detached and emotionless shells that such "mechanics" would naturally maintain. As the film progresses we get the impression that Bishop is going to "get out of the business" or somehow find his way out and settle for a sedate and stress less existence. Instead he becomes as vulnerable as the victims he has been preying on...or does he? Did he really fall into the trap set for him or did he allow himself to because he was convinced he couldn't escape? The screenplay doesn't answer that question definitively but it doesn't hurt the overall impact - it isn't over yet as we soon learn!If you are watching `The Mechanic' for the first time I envy you. If you are watching it for the first time in quite awhile you will be impressed all over again. Or you may be like me; unable to remember the number of times you have watched it but still can't wait to watch it again.Some final notes: The dated elements of this movie stand out rather sorely. Steve's house party complete with hippies and their brand of music and vernacular was already an anachronism when `The Mechanic' was made. The interior of the call girl's apartment is also hopelessly early 70's. The karate exhibition that Arthur and Steve attend is laughable as well. Before the exhibition begins Arthur tells Steve "the two masters won't actually hit each other because it would most certainly result in death." Regardless this fight sequence is poorly choreographed and is entirely unconvincing."
The thinking man's solution
Richard Ballard | United States | 04/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson) is a 'mechanic' -- a contract killer. Given an assignment, Mr. Bishop studies his target's habits, lifestyle and schedule, seeking weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Mr. Bishop then decides where and how to complete his assignment, using martial arts, weapons, explosives, or anything else deemed necessary. Mr. Bishop is an expert in a stress-filled occupation, but Mr. Bishop is beginning to experience anxiety attacks in his daily life.Steve McKenna (Jan Michael Vincent) is the jaded son of a deceased crime boss. At Steve's urging Arthur accepts Steve as an apprentice. Arthur teaches Steve the tricks of the mechanic's trade. Their first assignment together is awkward. Their next assignment is a rush job and it blows up in their faces ...Charles Bronson's career is marked by violent characterizations. The Arthur Bishop role is interesting because Arthur Bishop is an aesthetic -- Arthur Bishop treats contract killing as an art form. If Charles Bronson normally plays bludgeon characters, Arthur Bishop is a scalpel. And Jan Michael Vincent plays Steve McKenna both with sensitivity and with his usual attractive swagger. Coupled in a well-written plot, Bronson and Vincent's performances make "The Mechanic" a memorable film."
Wilmarie | California | 05/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Mechanic" with Charles Bronson, at first glance, nothing more than an unusually tightly-written work of violence, is so well done that it stays with the viewer long after being watched. While a great study of the "proverbial" hit man with no conscience who has no close family or friendly ties, this movie delves into the secret desire of "Arthur Bishop" to actually be a part of "normal" humanity (the lonliness he feels until his assistant comes along; the visit to the prostitute who he pays to act like a normal girlfriend who loves and misses him dearly each time he leaves; the anxiety attack he suffers for no apparent reason, etc.).It's this personality "flaw", so well hidden from even himself, that brings Bronson's character down in the end, since his desire and need for a pseudo-friendship and partnership with an assistant proves to be his biggest mistake.If you want to watch a film that combines the twists of a spiralling-down mind within the confines of the violent world of crime with an ending that will stay with the viewer forever - then this is the movie to watch!"
Charles Bronson at his absolute best
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 08/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Mechanic is a great Charles Bronson movie that features a role that was made for him. Arthur Bishop is a meticulous hitman, a mechanic, who prepares to make his hits with an incredible sense of detail. Whoever hires him knows the job will get done. After several successful hits, Bishop takes a young protege under his wing who happens to be the son of one of his victims. Bishop teaches the hitman trainee everything there is to know about the business, causing his employers to become upset with him. From the opening silence(it is 16 minutes before a word is spoken) to the shocking/surprising ending, The Mechanic has it all. Plenty of action, including a very good motorcycle chase, and a very tense Jerry Fielding score help to make this movie a must-see. Don't miss one of Charles Bronson's best movies.
In one of his best roles and one of my favorites, Charles Bronson stars as Arthur Bishop, the cold-blooded, ruthless hitman who meticulously plans his every hit. Jan-Michael Vincent is surprisingly good as Steve McKenna, Bishop's young protege trying to become as good a hitman as his elder. Bronson and Vincent work very well together as Bishop attempts to teach McKenna the ways of the profession. Keenan Wynn makes a brief appearance as "Big Harry" McKenna, Steve's father and a past associate of Bishop's father. Bronson's wife Jill Ireland and Linda Ridgeway also star. The DVD offers both widescreen and standard presentation along with a theatrical trailer. With Bronson turning in one of his best roles as ruthless killer Arthur Bishop and Jan-Michael Vincent giving great support, how can you go wrong? Check out The Mechanic!"