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The Mechanic: Smooth and Frustrating

Director: Simon West
Screenplay: Richard Wenk, purchase Lewis John Carlino
Release Date: January 28, buy 2011
Actors: Jason Statham, recipe Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland
Remake of the film of the same name from 1972

Having seen The Rite the night before, I had much higher hopes that The Mechanic would not disappoint me. Jason Statham in an action film immediately made it more appealing than an exorcist movie.

Jason Statham plays Arthur Bishop, a hired assassin who takes in Steve McKenna (Ben Foster), after the death of his father Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland), decides to teach Steve the trade of his profession.

The film is extremely entertaining, albeit frustrating due to Ben Foster’s character of Steve McKenna. This is of no fault of Foster’s, but is inherently written into his character that he’s pretty much a pompous, irrational, aggressive brat. When Bishop trains Steve and takes him along his assignments, I couldn’t help constantly wanting to pound Steve in to make him shut up. At the same time, it’s a bit amusing when I sit back and think about the fact that the film successfully makes you root for the assassin without a moment’s pause. Because in all of Bishop’s jobs, I just want him to succeed in getting rid of his target.

While Steve’s moves were messy, sometimes clumsy, and at times, even heavy, Bishop’s smooth and confident strides were night and day. I was impressed at how Statham and Foster were able to contrast their fighting and killing styles that it was clear who was the accomplished and senior assassin, and which one was the apprentice.

Not much thought is required for a film like The Mechanic. Jason Statham tends to be successful in such films as these, especially those in which he needs to take command of the use of a gun and stunts. His best role to date in my mind is still The Transporter. There is quite a bit of creativity involved in all the assignments that explain just why Bishop is the most talented hit man – as he not only has the smarts but the skill required to complete the removal of his target. It is this creativity that adds a bit more to The Mechanic than the standard action-blow-everything-up-guns run of the mill film. The Mechanic has a bit of intelligence to it, elevating it from what could have been an awful film to a truly entertaining and good one.

Of course, having said that, it could have been so much better, as the story is a bit of a mess, the motivations of Steve are not fully explained, and it soon becomes by-the-numbers in the overall plot. Having never seen the original The Mechanic, it is hard to make the comparison, but I’m pretty sure it most likely won’t live up to people’s expectations. But, if you’re looking for an entertaining thriller and don’t mind some graphic violence, then The Mechanic is a really fun ride. Because I sure had fun!

Fairly violent, but entertaining for what it is if you like action thrillers. 2.5 Record Players / 5 Record Players

Recommendations:
If you like this film, you might also like The Transporter, The Losers

Other Links:
IMDB

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