The Mechanic Reviews
and Jessica Alba was hot as F%4#
A contemporary reworking of Michael Winner's 1972 slow-burning vehicle of the same name, Statham is a natural successor to Charles Bronson's inscrutable screen persona. But as expected Statham's agent is turning his perma-frown client into a franchise driven euro trash muscle machine churning out more movies than plots.
In an attention seeking opening sequence set in drug lord capital of the world Columbia, we meet Arthur Bishop (Statham) aka The Mechanic. An elite assassin with a unique flair for killing in a manner that looks like a natural death, Bishop's mantra is the best job is when no-one knows you were even there; deliberately orchestrating murder to never leave evidence or loose ends or the need to look for them.
After cleanly eliminating his target through a very interesting sequence of underwater antics, Bishop returns home to his secluded, lonesome yet overtly elegant New Orleans bayou swanky pad. After his post-killing rituals of classical music and OCD driven burning of the planning materials, Bishop enjoys his isolated but lucrative life through his vintage muscle car and paid nights with the local talent (apparently if you over pay its not prostitution).
In the world where men in hush-hush organisations murmur murderous instructions into untraceable cell phones, eventually you're going to get a questionable hit. Contracted by one of the agency partners Dean (Tony Golwdwyn) to eliminate a traitor, his wheel-chair bound mentor Harry McKenna (Played by the classy and far too talented Donald Sutherland) Bishop faces a tough decision.
'Helping' McKenna circumnavigate his own security to aid in a flawless murder, Bishop is cold in their exchange, the body language and heartfelt words shared are emotionally detached to the obvious bond.
In an act of penance, Bishop agrees to take McKenna's estranged son on as a killing protégé. Attempting to teach the impulsive young troublemaker Steve (Ben Foster) that trying to find his father's killer is futile and revenge is an emotion that can get you killed, Bishop welcomes him into his home and tries to teach Steve the theory, practice and tricks of the trade.
However, Steve's track record as a chaotic screw up with immaturity issues and substance abuse throws a spanner in the suave Bishop's perfect works. Failing miserably at his first clean solo hit; to lure and kill a rival Mechanic with a fondness for Chihuahuas and young boys, Steve is broken by the giant to within an inch of his life.
Still trying to salvage his reputation, the two start pursuing the ultimate mark and Bishops last hit, however as deception threatens to surface, those hired to fix problems become the problem and this union of force begins to implode.
With the predictable scattershot close-ups that simulate excitement through cinematic dismemberment and the usual hash of preposterous action sequences themes of loyalty, betrayal and revenge is what keeps the story bouncing from one huge stunt to the next violent sequence.
Attempting to add texture, little hints of depth are woven in, for instance the old fashioned turntable that plays a big role in the climax and the cleaver explanation of plotting by medical knowledge to ensure naturalness of death. A nice addition until the groundwork disintegrates.
The Verdict: More driven than Transporter but less caustic than Crank, Statham has once again landed himself an action franchise in the making. The simplest explanation it's a boys' movie with a big bang finish.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 08/04/2011