The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film of the same name, sees Jason Statham take on the role of solitary and methodical assassin Arthur Bishop. Having established himself as the best in the business, Bishop sees his mentor Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland) murdered. Saving him from a downward spiral, Bishop takes McKenna’s grieving and wayward son Steve (Ben Foster) under his wing and teaches him his unique set of skills.
Bishop attempts to untangle the crosses and double-crosses within his organisation whilst struggling to teach aggressive and impulsive Steve the detached and obsessive methodology of an elite assassin.
The film opens showing Bishop execute an assignment with clinical efficiency and impressive improvisation. However, this is as good as the film gets in depicting an obsessively prepared hitman at the prime of his career. Bishop’s assignments gradually descend into action film fodder as each assassination attempt becomes a frantic firefight and more concerned with brawn than brains.
Statham is as solid as ever in his cagey hard-man role which he has made his own through films such as Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels which suits his broody character’s detached persona perfectly. Ben Foster plays his character well, providing a convincing portrayal of a drifting loser whose hot streak and cock-sure arrogance lands him in trouble more often than not.
The supporting cast lend themselves well to the main performances, Donald Sutherland’s brief role a particular high point as a resilient but ultimately undone survivor. The script’s twists and turns keep the audience engaged, trying to fight through the web of lies created by the characters, although the final twists are disappointingly predictable. However, what prevents this film being intricately woven into a cunning and intelligent assassin flick is its tendency towards exhilarating fight scenes over carefully crafted assignments.
|"There’s a gun down the left cushion" "But I’m not a lefty" "Then you’re dead".|
|Bishop’s opening assassination. Meticulously planned and improvised as he glides through the scene.|
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