‘The Mechanic’ is an interesting film about the inner character of a middle-aged, declining, professional assassin. A necessarily cold and completely unemotional man, a wife or girlfriend would wreck his cool; he’s forced to make use of a society prostitute. He is also vaguely homosexual in his feelings and fascinated by the young man he decides shall become his apprentice, who he subconsciously realises will be his successor.
The film would have been compelling, rather than just interesting, if Michael Winner’s latterly acquired, rather tough, unsubtle, fast style of direction hadn’t masked a lot of the feeling of desperation and extreme isolation I think the character was supposed to have. Charles Bronson is miscast. His ability to play parts requiring a blank, expressionless coldness and no more, works well in Westerns, but is not sufficient m films like this, in which a deep character study is the base.
The serious stuff is interspersed with exciting action scenes, where Winner’s superb talent creates some scintillating suspense.