Cinema: Family Business

THE MECHANIC

Directed by MICHAEL WINNER

Screenplay by LEWIS JOHN CARLINO

In Mafia patois a mechanic is a hit man. The titular mechanic of this misshapen thriller is Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson), a name so bland that we must assume the producers were at pains to appease antidefamation groups of virtually every nationality. Bishop is a psychopathic Mr. Fixit, flawlessly efficient at doing in whoever has fallen out of favor with his employers. Emotionless, a loner, Bishop spends hours studying his quarry.

The first part of the movie, which concentrates mostly on Bishop's devices for dispatching his victims, is the best—cold, fast and intricate....

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