Although I’ve seen the original Charles Bronson starring actioner, The Mechanic, I can’t honestly say that I’m so attached to it that I was upset or annoyed when news first came out that they were remaking it as a Jason Statham vehicle. But saying that, I did wonder if it was going to be yet another “typical” Statham action film or if it could turn out to be something a little different.
Regardless, as I sat down to watch it I was hopeful that if nothing else I would have an enjoyable nights entertainment – but did that turn out to be the case?
Arthur Bishop is a “mechanic” – a professional assassin called upon when a hit needs to look like something else, and with his emotional detachment & deadly skill he is one of the best the Agency employs.
But after he is tricked by the Agency & his friend & mentor Harry is killed, Bishop starts to train Harry’s son Steve – and it’s not long before the pair of them are on a mission to avenge Harry’s death.
But as the tension rises & deceptions come to the surface, Bishop & Steve find themselves considered a problem – a problem that they need to find the solution to before it’s too late.
I didn’t really know what to expect from The Mechanic, as although I enjoy a lot of Jason Statham films they are pretty much all generic. But the opening scene, where Statham’s character performs a complex assassination while Donald Sutherland describes the usage of a “mechanic” is as an imaginative sequence to open an action film as you will find. And it really sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Statham is pretty much perfect as the detached Bishop, a man with little interaction with the outside world, content to live in isolation & not make connections to people, apart from his mentor Harry (Donald Sutherland), even though once again it’s a role which doesn’t really stretch his acting muscles, as it’s pretty much the same as all the other characters he has played.
By no means does this mean that he’s bad in the film, or that the film is not worth watching, as both of those are the opposite if I’m honest, it would have just been nice to see a little more originality in the role.
What is original, or at least surprising, is that the main plot of the film (which is one of revenge) doesn’t really kick in until near the end of the film, where it suddenly explodes into full throttle & doesn’t let up until the final scene.
Not that the rest of the film is boring or slow, by any means, as we get treated to Bishop training Harry’s son Steve (played very well by Ben Foster, with all his pent up rage & remorse over his father bubbling under the surface) in the art of assassination, which provides us with some brilliant action sequences as the pair of them start to come together as a team.
The action is handled very well by Simon West, who thankfully delivers a film much more akin to Con Air than Tomb Raider, as the action scenes crackle with energy & violence.
As much as this is an action film it’s also a very well handled double hander between Statham & Foster, and is much better than just “A.N Other” action film.
I was very pleasantly surprised by The Mechanic. Although it is a generic action film, it does try to mix it up a little with the partnering of Statham & Foster.
It’s not totally original, but it is very enjoyable & flies past while you’re watching it.