The Mechanic' Movie Review

First, a disclaimer: I've never seen the original 1972 The Mechanic that inspired this 2011 version. Of course I know Charles Bronson played the title role now taken on by Jason Statham and that Jan-Michael Vincent was in the original playing the character Ben Foster now plays. However, other than those most basic facts, I don't know anything about the first The Mechanic, so this review is in no way a comparison of the two versions.

Jason Statham's made a living - and a very good one at that - taking on bad-ass characters you'd be stupid to want to land on the wrong side of in feature films. Statham's got the sneer down pat and the effectiveness of his...keeping it G-rated...'Don't mess with me' glare has made him one of the go-to actors for starring roles in action films. And with The Mechanic just about all Statham's counted on to do is look fierce while the body count piles up, which makes him perfect for the role.

The Story

The Mechanic is a no holds barred action film with a barebones plot and dialogue written for the sole purpose of setting up the next over-the-top action sequence. All that's necessary to know about The Mechanic is that Arthur Bishop (Statham) kills people for a living, earning big time paydays for each target he knocks off. He's efficient at his job, creative with his kills, and for the most part it appears the people he's hired to murder are scumbugs.

After being given a job to take out his mentor, Harry (who was apparently swindling money from the company and set up a team of Arthur's cohorts to be slaughtered), Arthur winds up taking Harry's rebel without a cause son, Steve (Foster), under his wing to teach him the ropes. Steve's got a mean streak a mile long and is driven by the need for revenge, but also simply by the thrill of the kill. As Arthur shows him how to kill for a living, Steve proves to be a quick learner - although he prefers messy methods when stealth and a quick kill would be safer.

As Steve learns more, Arthur involves him in increasingly complicated jobs. But this weird mentor/student relationship doesn't last forever as ultimately what Steve really wants is to avenge the murder of his father.

The Acting
Donald Sutherland shows up briefly as Jason Statham's mentor and Tony Goldwyn's in and out as the head honcho of the firm Statham works for. But supporting players make little impact as The Mechanic is all about Statham and Foster. Statham is incredibly gifted at handling whatever comes his way action-wise and The Mechanic puts all of his skills to the test in some of the most extreme stunt sequences of his career. And, surprisingly, Ben Foster proves to be better than expected as Statham's understudy.

The Bottom Line
The Mechanic throws in a totally unnecessary not love but lust story involving Statham and a woman he repeatedly visits for sex. It also thuds over a few rough patches in the second act and, as I already pointed out, the dialogue is just filler in between action sequences. But, those action sequences don't disappoint.

This might just be the shortest review I've ever written and that's because there's nothing to the plot and to describe in detail the action scenes would take the fun out of the experience for action fans who couldn't care less what the story's about anyway. Which, let's face it, is exactly the audience The Mechanic has set out to serve.


The Mechanic was directed by Simon West and is rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity.


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