Who is the better mechanic?
The 1972 original film called The Mechanic starring Charles Bronson and the Brad-Pitt-of-his-day Jan Michael Vincent (who’s rumoured to have lost his way to Hollywood glory because he took the fork in the road that led to a neighbourhood full of cocaine dealers) – is in my Top 100 Favourite Movies Of All Time.
It was released in that early 70s period when Sam Peckinpah emerged onto the scene with a new raw depiction of the violence of humanity. Straw Dogs made us afraid of the inhumanity not only around us but inside ourselves too.
And it was the era of the big twist at the end of movies. We found out the Planet Of The Apes was really Planet Earth after those ‘maniacs blew it up’.
We also learned that if you’ve got a lot of people to feed – feed them people – which gave us that great twist at the end of Soylent Green.
And an unlikely leading man took out the Best Actor Oscar for The French Connection – Gene Hackman – who proved that talent and charisma can get you a helluva lot further than being pretty. I like him so much, I reckon he should change his name to Genius Hackman. Cos he just is.
I do like Jason Statham too. But in this new version of The Mechanic, the plot and storyline are a bit more convoluted when maybe they didn’t need to be.
A mechanic fixes problems with the smooth running of people’s lives. He charges what he wants depending on the job, availability of parts and labour.
Jason is a simple actor and his role lost something by having a couple more facets to it. The mechanic is an organic terminator. I don’t want him to be too humanized.
What Charles Bronson and Jason Statham have in common is that neither has a huge acting range but what they do, they do well. Still, Bronson has the edge over Statham.
The great thing about the original film, was that no one saw the twist coming at the end. And as a young person seeing this kind of story-telling for the first time, I was blown away.
So here’s some vid to check out. Compare and contrast the trailers for both films. The editing of trailers has clearly come a long way since 1972. The 2011 Mechanic wins over the 1972 Mechanic:
But for simple, powerful explosive endings, I still reckon the 1972 Mechanic beats the 2011 version. Here’s how the original ended. Set your face to ‘stunned’: