Arthur Bishop is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when he is ordered to take out his mentor and close friend Harry, Bishop is anything but detached.
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Per Gunnar Jonsson
When Jason Statham is good he is very good. In this movie I think he is very good as the silent, deadly killer for hire. It is a straightforward killer/action/thriller. The story is nothing new but it is a well working story which is nicely executed. The story is, as I wrote above, not very original. Killer for hire finds out that his next target is his mentor and friend. As the professional he is he executes the job anyway but later discoverers that not all is as is should be. Time for revenge. A simple, straightforward and well working story. Things are complicated a bit by Bishop taking his friend’s son under his wings. Of course he wants to walk in his fathers footsteps. He is inexperienced but also undisciplined. Something that, not surprisingly, is causing problems. I do like that Bishop stays a no bullshit hardass killer throughout the entire movie. No whining or silly emotional outbreaks or breakdowns. I also like the unemotional, silent and deadly impression of a professional assassin the he radiates. There are quite a few fairly well done action scenes in the movie ranging from silent assassinations to the obligatory blow things up scenes. The parts where Bishop and Steves goes after the big bad guy is quite well done with some quite cool stunts without being over the top. The ending was probably the only thing in the movie that was a bit unexpected. Unexpected in a good way that is. I quite liked the little surprise there. Overall I as well as my son liked this movie quite a lot. I hope that Mechanic: Resurrection is as good as this one.
The Movie Diorama
The Mechanic is unable to fix its mechanically mundane plot. “Amat Victoria Curran - Victory Loves Preparation”. Foreshadowing words engraved on the glossy barrel of Sutherland’s powerful pistol. Euphemism aside, West presents a remake of the Bronson-led action thriller that coincidentally features no vehicle mendings. That’s because, for those of you who aren’t subjugated to criminal organisations (hopefully all of you...), “mechanic” is slang for hitman. Despite Statham being bald and able to glue a fake tattoo of a barcode on that shiny cranium for a “propa laugh!”, unfortunately West was unable to title the feature “Hitman”. And so, he grabbed a wrench and proceeded into remake territory. For what it’s worth, this is one of his more moderately tolerable features from the past decade. “Mechanic” Arthur Bishop is assigned the task of assassinating his mentor, subsequently taking his troubled son into training as a well-intentioned gesture. Naturally, Statham is slaying men in his wake with any object his eyes glisten towards, most notably a suitcase handle in this one. It’s clumsily edited, instantly forgettable and rarely hones in on the “making hits look like accidents” speciality. Expositional narration throughout, one or two plot twists that uphold no kinetic energy whatsoever and an incredible waste of Sutherland. Not to mention another “mechanic” having a weakness to young boys and small dogs. The two just don’t relate. Interestingly, the film works when it’s divulging into the life of McKenna’s self-tortured son Steve, portrayed by the enigmatic, under-appreciated and consistent Foster. A reckless individual succumbed to illegal substances and a sleazy lifestyle to suppress his negligent upbringing. Undergoing cathartic vengeance in a bid to soothe the soul. His internal suffering forces his character to be the human component in what is otherwise a mechanical action thriller, packed full of explosions and rapid gunfire. It’s a battle of professionalism between the experienced Arthur and the inexperienced Steve, making for a surprisingly well-executed duel of wits. The actual assassinations themselves were simple, although somewhat unimaginative, yet realistic. A few questionable moments, including a dumbfounded man glancing over at the tiniest of nuts (calm your mind...) that fell out of a grating, but nothing too outlandish. The utilisation of Schubert’s legendary piece Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major was revelatory, I must confess. Having said that, The Mechanic is your standard Statham affair. Powered by a sensational supporting performance but weighed down by a mundane plot. Functional if immediately forgettable.