Directed by Simon West. Starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland.
A remake of a 70s flick with Charles Bronson, The Mechanic isn’t unique but delivers mainly because of Statham and Foster’s great chemistry and power performances.
Jason ‘Transporter’ Statham is enough to cue action. If there’s any actor after the likes of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger it is Statham. His steely eyes, cut jaw line and slickly choreographed fight scenes all combine to produce an iconic action man. One who unfortunately hasn’t really been given a big break. Well not yet.
In The Mechanic he plays Arthur Bishop, an assassin for a covert organisation (America seems burgeoning with these) who is assigned to killing his own mentor Harry McKenna played by the legendary Donald Sutherland who isn’t on screen for as long as we’d like him to be but as director Simon West says, “The trick is that you don’t get a lot of time to spend with him, but he’s such a good actor. You wish you could get just one or two more scenes with him, but the story doesn’t really kick in until he gets killed.” (Quote courtesy: Crave Online)
After killing his wheelchair bound friend/mentor, Bishop befriends McKenna’s recluse son Steve played by the talented Ben Foster. He initiates him into the intricate and meticulous world of the assassin; in sort of like redemption for having killed his father, Bishop becomes his surrogate mentor.
What follows is a series of missions and the obvious revelation that Bishop was deceived into killing McKenna and now must take revenge with his apprentice’s help.
Some suspension of disbelief is needed here, especially since you wonder how the good-for-nothing Steve manages to pick up being an assassin so quickly and take on burly gay goons ten times his size. After that, the wonderful balance of Statham’s cold, calculated and by-the-book Bishop with Steve’s reckless and uninhibited passion and rage is a treat to watch. There’s even some wry humour in there.
The action and pace are both handled well by director Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft – Tomb Raider) who gives you the formula packed with punch and gusto. Special mention about Ben Foster. This young chap has acted in quite a few top movies like 3:10 To Yuma and The Messenger. He’s absolutely brilliant in The Mechanic and quite nearly steals the show from Statham. Big things await him, mark my words.