22 November 2010 | Coventry
Charlie's got a melon to pick with you!
"Mr. Majestyk" is inarguably one of Charles Bronson's most masterful action movie accomplishments (not counting the westerns like "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "The Magnificent Seven" because he didn't play the central character in those) and this is mainly thanks to the skillful writing of Elmore Leonard and the tight direction of Richard Fleischer. More than in the other contemporary Bronson action vehicles, "Mr. Majestyk" benefices from a steadily paced and intelligent screenplay that fully revolves on Charles Bronson, but at least never exaggeratedly idolizes him. Vince Majestyk is a modest and introvert Colorado melon farmer who only wants to bring in his harvest
He ends up in jail after a conflict with a local small time crook, but things get really serious when a wanted mafia hit man targets him for assassination. Mr. Majestyk wanted to deliver the escaped convict Frank Renda back to the police, but his plan failed and now Renda is obsessed with killing Vince with his own hands. The plot isn't hyper-convoluted, but it's definitely more ambitious than the average "Death Wish" sequel in which Charles blows away random street scum. The villainous characters in "Mr. Majestyk" are interesting personalities. Frank Renda (brilliant performance from Al Lettieri) is a genuinely menacing and relentless criminal, whereas Bobby Kopas is just a sleazy and cowardly local marauder who thinks he's a big shot. The interactions between Vince and these gangsters confirm their personalities. He's not afraid of Renda but remains wary and respectful at all times, whereas he continuously mocks and humiliates the racist wannabe cowboy Bobby Kopas. It is definitely the sharp and seasoned writing of Elmore Leonard what brings the film to a higher quality level. "Mr. Majestyk" certainly isn't a non-stop spitfire of action sequences, but there are a couple of explosively violent moments that are unforgettable. The escape during the prison transportation, for example, as well as the Ford pick-up chase and the climatic shootout. Great film, highly recommended to all action cinema fanatics!