The Mechanic

I knew what I was going to get the minute I saw Jason Statham in the promo pic. Never one to worry about typecasting, he’s made a healthy living for himself for someone of limited acting range and average looks. He can, however, carry a B-movie without working up a sweat on his big, bald brow. If it’s a big, dumb action flick you’re after, Jay’s your man. My one regret in watching The Mechanic is that I forgot the popcorn. 

The Mechanic is a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle following hitman Arthur Bishop (Statham) as he eliminates his prey in innovative ways. Again, he takes on a contract to kill his friend and mentor, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland), and again he takes McKenna’s son (Ben Foster) under his wing. However, the plot is different in many ways from the original film, and references such as Bishop’s love of classical music fail to convince. His personality and motivation are different – but it would be difficult to coax much emotional depth from an actor of Statham’s calibre. May as well just let him get on with blowing s*** up.

There are ‘sploshuns aplenty and an ever-growing body count in a setting where nobody ever thinks to call the police. They get clean away with murder, and the only consequence is the neverending queue of would-be assassins to join the pile of corpses in their wake.

Don’t expect logic or any kind of sense.”Why did they have to blow it up?” is not a thought you should be thinking here. The answer is, “because”.

Explosions are fun.

The Mechanic is basically a Hong Kong action movie that happens to be made by an English director (Con Air‘s Simon West) and starring everyone’s favourite low budget Brit. If you imagine instead it starred Chow Yun Fat, it would all make perfect sense. Watching it gave me the irrepressible urge to watch the excellent Replacement Killers again, which I should, because it’s frankly a much better film.

The Mechanic made a slight profit at the cinema and will probably do OK on the rental market. Giving it two stars out of four, Roger Ebert said said, “Audiences have been drilled to accept noise and movement as entertainment. It is done so well one almost forgets to ask why it has been done at all.”

Because explosions are fun, silly.




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