Seasoned hitman Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) sets out to avenge the brutal murder of his mentor, Harry (Donald Sutherland), and finds himself joined by Harry's vengeful son (Ben Foster), who is eager to follow in his late father's footsteps, in this remake of the 1972 action thriller starring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. Harry taught Arthur how to be a detached killer who always hits his mark. Now Harry is gone, and for the first time in Arthur's career it's about to get personal. As lone-wolf assassin Arthur prepares to hunt down Harry's killers, he is approached by his fallen mentor's vengeful son, Steve, who is eager to take up the lethal tools of his father's trade. Unadept at working with a partner yet compelled to help Steve carry on the family tradition, Arthur agrees to take him on as a protégé. Later, the duo begins to methodically eliminate their targets, forging a partnership born of blood with each new hit. The closer Arthur and Steve get to the name at the top of their list, however, the more apparent it becomes that his job will be anything but business as usual. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Simon West
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase
Release Date: Jan 28, 2011
Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
To say this film feels familiar is a tad of an understatement, not just because it’s a remake of the 70’s Charles Bronson film of the same name. Jason Statham has made a career of churning out mindless action flicks. The quality of these films varies wildly but Statham is consistent and seems more than happy to stick to the formula. The Mechanic, directed by Michael Bay Jr., Simon West, is a hollow superficial ride which never tries to be more than it sets out to be. It’s bloody occasionally gory sprinkled with nudity and sex. Ultimately it’s easily digestible and enjoyable for the most part. At times it feels like this would have been perfectly at home in the 80’s which a plot that feel like nothing more than excuse to propel the action. There’s a tad bit of pathos there enough to make it feel like they could go deeper into these characters but nobody involved, outside of Ben Foster, seems terribly interested in doing so. Jason Statham delivers his usual tough guy persona, gravelly voiced with the perfect amount of stubble. By this point Statham can play this type of character in his sleep, so much so that it leaves you wondering if he ever gets confused as to which movie he’s actually shooting at anyone time. Ben Foster brings a bit more depth to his character. Foster gives his character greater depth, showcasing the simmering tortured persona of his character. That being said it’s never explored to great depth, along with the fact that the character becomes a master hitman in the span of a few days. These aren’t the kind of films that are terribly interested in that kind of stuff and that’s alright as long as they deliver enjoyable action set pieces. The Mechanic has plenty to like with inventive settings and impressive looking locals. If there is one nitpick it’s that the last big action piece leaves you feeling a tad disappointed since the film seems to be building to a nice action crescendo.