“The Mechanic” Movie Review

1/30/2011 Posted by Admin

“The Mechanic”

Movie Review

Directed by Simon West, Written by Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino, 92 minutes, Rated R.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Loud, explosive and fun, “The Mechanic” shamelessly flaunts its actioneering. Scenes exceed the limits of belief for the sake of entertainment, without reverting to all-out comedy. In this remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film, director Simon West gives Jason Statham and company a decent enough story to work with, fleshing out the characters a bit more than you’re standard action movie.

One of the world’s foremost hitmen, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), gets a job to take out his friend and mentor Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland). Reluctantly, he accepts, fearing a worse fate if his employers hired someone else to take care of the McKenna situation. Bishop lives with the guilt of Harry’s murder, but it only gets worse when he meets Harry’s son, Steve (Ben Foster), at the funeral. Distraught, Steve demands that Arthur teach him the tricks of the trade.

Still reeling with guilt, Arthur agrees.

Steve’s methods are quite different from Arthur’s, however. On the job, Arthur is a well-oiled machine. He meticulously designs his hits, going through a host of variables and scenarios, preparing for every possible outcome. Steve, on the other hand, does not. He flies by the seat of his pants, adopting a gritty style, which entirely opposes Arthur’s training.

Despite their obvious differences, Arthur and Steve make a great team. Statham’s cold stares and quiet attacks create Bond-like thrills while Steve’s brash, bombastic style brings the action. Foster explodes in hand-to-hand combat that’s both violent and entertaining. Together, the pair pleases all. Fans of crafty spy films and rough and tumble action will get their money’s worth.

Above it all, the juxtapositions of characters, as well as their connection to Harry, gives them motivation. As they go after the big fish behind Harry’s take down, their personal link to the job draws you in closer. West locks us into the plot, because their characterizations make sense, even if they are a tad cliché. The added suspense of Steve finding out Arthur’s the man who pulled the trigger is the icing on the cake.

Statham and Foster work great together. Their diverging styles and a decent story makes for some great action scenes and an entertaining movie. Considering how boring and predictable this type of film can be, it’s amazing how unpredictable “The Mechanic” actually is. “The Mechanic” is definitely worth your time. Check your brain at the door and enjoy.

Grade: B

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