I plum forgot! My friend and I, we watched the original Mechanic a while ago, and seeing as how I relish the opportunity to trash a bad movie, I'm surprised that I skipped this one. It fell below the radar, a little like the two main characters strive to do in this movie.
Well, you gotta hand it to Charles Bronson. You'll see things in a Bronson movie you won't see anywhere else. In Death Wish, you'll see a girl's bare bottom get spraypainted. In The Evil That Men Do, some of you might get your jollies watching the opening sequence, where a very learned man teaches an audience how to torture someone to death when they're strapped down in a swing. In one of the later Death Wish movies, you'll see Bronson re-enact a scene from Throw Momma From The Train where Billy Crystal dreams that he's strangling himself. And in The Mechanic, we will sit around and wait after a girl has slit her wrists with a razor blade, to see if Bronson's estimate is correct that it will take her about 2.5 to 3 hours to die. Personally, I think it's less, but I won't question that too much, as I don't care to find out in a rigorous, scientific fashion.
The opening episode is okay enough. Bronson has to whack a dude, and does it in a rather creative way, and it looks like they used actual buildings instead of models and miniatures when a large explosion occurs. In a slight break from formula, we get another episode in which he has to kill another dude whom he knows personally, and leave his troubled son without a father. Keenan Wynn plays the dude that Bronson has to whack, pretty much reprising his role from... SPOILER ALERT... Point Blank.
From there, Bronson and eternally handsome man boy Jan-Michael Vincent, form an uneasy alliance. For some reason, I still get Jan-Michael Vincent and Philip Michael Thomas confused. I think the reason is either 1) I don't care that much about either man, or 2) am a racist. Maybe both! Anyway, it was at about this point where the film began to fall apart for my friend, so I might as well wrap this review up. I hate to do it, but you gotta hand it to today's Hollywood screenwriters: they know what parts to leave out when they're remaking a movie these days. Of course, the original Mechanic is also a bit of a cultural time capsule. We're no longer at war with the hippie counterculture, as this film clearly was. Also, this film pushes its 'PG' rating about as far as it will go, especially with all the nudity in the paintings that are shown. Why, I wouldn't let any kid of mine NEAR this filth!
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan