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Inspirational Viewing – The Mechanic (1972)

5 September, 2011

As a remake of this had come out, I wanted to rewatch the original version of the Mechanic which I had seen many moons ago before viewing the new version.

It is a movie about a Mechanic, in the Organization’s sense of the term, in other words a professional killer.  Charles Bronson plays the title role with a world-weary air.  It is very much a movie of its times, with big American cars everywhere, an occasionally heavy-handed electronic soundtrack, 70s style and the sprawl of LA not quite as sprawling as it would later become.

Short Opinion: While it does suffer some pacing issues, The Mechanic is a superb movie about how a professional killer can operate.

More information,with possible spoilers, after the cut:

Good points:

Much of the movie is about how Bronson’s character, Arthur Bishop, and his preparation for killing his targets and the ways he keeps in shape, physically and mentally, for the missions.  It is n excellent example of how to do proper mission planning for modern games.

Bishop works for the Organization, a group that is implied to be a criminal hierarchy but never defined.  A good model for a mysterious employer.

If you are looking to emulate a late 60s/early 70s vibe for a game, there is much to mine here from cars to clothing styles.

Cool stylization, the first 15 minutes of so of the movie are told entirely visually (with soundtrack) but no dialog.  Very nicely done.

Not so good points, ignore if you wish:

Odd pacing, the movie is relaxed, even slow in its pacing, even during the action sequences.  This may not play well to some modern sensibilities.

Crazy bombastic soundtrack, which -while cool- was sometimes distracting.

Note: I am tagging this are part of this month’s RPG Blog Carnival – Assassins.

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