Directed By: Michael Winner
Written By: Lewis John Carlino
Cinematography: Richard H. Kline and Robert Paynter (European Sequences)
Editor: Freddie Wilson and Arnold Crust Jr. (Michael Winner)
Cast: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Edgeway, Frank De Kova, Tak Kubota, Celeste Yarnell, Enzo Fiermonte
A professional hitman is planning to retire, always a difficult move for one in such a profession. A young apprentice appears to be eager to learn all the skills of the trade – but is that all he wants?
This was one of the Charles Bronson films I was looking forward to, as this is supposedly one of the classics for him.
I will admit to seeing the remake with Jason Statham first. Though I enjoyed it. I thought it would be an overblown spectacle. Which it was but also improved on the material.
This, original has a great first half of the movie. As the opening 10 minutes alone are a silent masterpiece of suspense and reasoning.
Then once he has to kill one of his friends out of duty. Even that makes sense, and with his expertise, he never makes it look like an assassination. It always looks natural or like an accident.
Though it seems in the second half of the film that is abandoned. Even when he has assistance on his assignment it is so big and doesn’t look like an accident. Then after that, his assistant who he takes on out of guilt is all of a sudden acting like an expert. When he has done one job.
The twists at the end are the only thing that saves the film. Though it is set in the 1970s at first we feel sorry for the kid but as heartless as he treats his girlfriend who is attempting suicide. Shows us how evil he is, though he passes no judgment it seems to be the quality that makes Bronson’s character accept him.
Thankfully the film is barely over 90 minutes. As whenever there is a scene with Bronson alone it becomes dull. Even though these as supposed to be moments where we get to know his character. Even though there isn’t much to be known.
It still allows for Bronson’s charisma and Jan Michael Vincent to show off his chops early in his career. Though this film by the end felt like a disappointment for me. I can see why it has its fans. As it tries to set a tone and be moody while also having it’s Fair share of action