The Mechanic Directed by: Simon West Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland Running Time: 1 hr 32 mins Rating: R Release Date: January 28, 2011
PLOT: A hit man (Statham) starts to mentor an apprentice (Foster) who is connected to his past.
WHO'S IT FOR? Do you wish your action movies had more realistic motives and anger, and less fun? The Mechanic could be the right one for the job.
EXPECTATIONS: Action. Some decent lines. That's all I want. Currently, because of The Messenger, Foster is my favorite potential with this movie that is a Bronson remake that I never saw.
ACTORS: Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop: Arthur's the best of the best. We know this because of the first job, done perfectly, at the beginning of the film and also because his boss/mentor Harry (Sutherland) declares it to be so. You couldn't ask for a better mechanic/killer/hit man/assassin. As the movie progresses Arthur makes bad decisions and never really backs them up with a reason. Trust me, he's good at killing, but the best? I don't think so. In general, Statham has gotten kind of stale for me in these action movies. His mere presence doesn't do enough. His scowl has grown tired, now he needs some more meat (like Snatch.) Score: 2
Donald Sutherland as Harry McKenna: Clearly Harry looks at Arthur as the son he never had. And for the son he had, he's not proud. Yes Steve (see below), we're talking about you. Sutherland isn't asked to do much with this role, but it's good to see him again. Score: 6
Ben Foster as Steve McKenna: In the last couple of years, Foster has been good in a bad movie (Pandorum) and great in a fantastic film (The Messenger). So is three in a row too much to ask? Yes. He still brings the same energy where he's almost always unhinged and on the verge. He has the necessary motives to be an anti-hero, but there's a definite distance you'll want to keep. He's not cool. He's not a true villain. You just want to stay away. I think he did what was expected with the role, but that doesn't mean he entertained. Score: 4
Tony Goldwyn as Dean: Hey look, it's the best friend from Ghost who turned out to be a bad guy in the end. I wonder what he's doing here. If you've watched the trailer for this film, they just tell you the answer. And on a completely superficial level, where are the rest of his eyebrows? Score: 3
TALKING: It's mostly stunted conversations that consist of being the best of the best. There doesn't seem to be a lot of training, which would have been a great addition to the training montage (instead of just shooting guns. At one point Steve says, "I've always had this anger, and now I have a place to put it." Yeah, it's actually pretty uncomfortable. Score: 3
SIGHTS: Again, there are a few tiny moments that make you realize West knows how to shoot an action sequence. The opening attack in a pool is the perfect example. It's really the one that's the killer here. Score: 4
SOUNDS: Classical music. That's enough to understand Arthur is a good guy, right? Well, whenever he returns to his lavish home, Arthur puts on some vinyl and just relaxes. The musical score is absolutely a Bond rip-off and it's painful whenever the base line picks up. Score: 2
BEST SCENE: The first scene that I have hinted at a couple of time. It shows Arthur killing in a quiet, masterful way from the bottom of a pool.
ENDING: How do you want me to feel? I really felt nothing at the end. Maybe a little dirty. It didn't seem that there was any victory or any hero to be seen. From what I understand, this ending does differ from the original. I like the sound of the original ending better.
QUESTIONS: Wouldn't the boss be irate if you've gone and hired a freelancer? Why blow up the house and the certain classic possession? Was that the only way? Didn't Steve have pretty good motivation for his ultimate decision?
REWATCHABILITY: No. I'll be staying away. Give me Crank: High Voltage. I'll be good with that comical, over-the-top violence instead.
From the moment this film started, I thought there was a chance this action flick could tap into some Bourne Identity stuff. That idea didn't last very long. In fact, all it took was the good opening action sequence and then the chat with Donald Sutherland. The main reason it doesn't last is this line of logic ... If you are a great mechanic (killer) and you play by a certain set of rules, what's the worst thing you can do? Most movies say, "fall for the wrong woman." Not The Mechanic. Instead, Arthur decides an alcoholic psychopath is the best one to take under his wing. I don't care who his dad is, that's a bad idea. There is never an explanation. Again, this is a guy who plays by the rules. "The best [kill's] are when no one knows you're there." That's a direct quote from Arthur. Yet, when Steve gets dirty, Arthur just motions on for the next kill. There is also something really mean about this violence. Taken and Kill Bill offer the fun of violence. Yes people, I do believe it is possible. Here, characters go out of there way to harm a black street thug, a gay man who likes young men, and a teenage girl (almost). By the end I didn't care if anyone survived. The Mechanic needs a fixer.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10