Directed by: Simon West
Running Time: 92 minutes
In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby claims that Highlander won the Academy Award for Best Movie Ever Made. He obviously hasnt seen The Mechanic. A remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film with Jason Statham in the lead and the director of Con Air at the helm, how could this film not be awesome?
Arthur Bishop (Statham) is a hitman working for an unnamed company (although oddly sharing the same front name as Inception’s Cobol Engineering) under his mentor Harry (Donald Sutherland). After Harry is deemed no longer needed and dispatched by those within the company, Bishop seeks to take down the men responsible along with Harry’s estranged son Steve (Ben Foster).
Statham is never going to tackle Shakespeare (I desperately want to be proved wrong on this), he’s an action star through and through, barring the occasional Guy Ritchie aided gangster turn and this should be welcomed. His films are mindless and easily forgotten but they can be fun, a lot of fun. The Mechanic is no different, its plot attempts twists and turns to get you intrigued but let’s be honest, we all came to this dance for guns, explosions and expletives, of which we get in spades. Hell, we even get a training montage.
Statham is a perfect fit in Bronson’s shoes – at this stage he must be calling in that grimace he wears in every film – equally at ease with dishing out the beatings and wise quips. Foster seems to be having a lot of fun in his role, transforming from an angst ridden waster to super assassin (thank you montage) in a mere flash. In his role as villain and head of the company, Tony Goldwyn handles lines like “I’m going to put out a hit on you so big that your own reflection is going to wanna put a bullet in your head,” with a cold presence and amazingly, a straight face.
For all its faults in plot, character development and acting, The Mechanic is so unashamedly ’80s in its delivery – a charming and beautiful prostitute, a child murdering, ketamine fiend preacher and outlandish violence – that it’s hard not to enjoy, you might even find yourself pumping your fist in the air at times. Maybe that was just me though.