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Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed - he wants those responsible dead. His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade. Bishop has always acted alone but he can't turn his back on Harry's son. A methodical hit man takes an impulsive student deep into his world and a deadly partnership is born. But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves. Written by
The "Mechanic Needed" photo of Harry that Bishop sees on his laptop is a publicity still of Donald Sutherland at the 2009 Palm Springs Film Festival Awards Gala. Another still from this event is the primary photo of Sutherland's IMDb page. See more »
After the first hit, when Arthur jumps from the bridge from the above angle it looks like he is going to land on a barge, and in the next shot from angle below he falls a few meters in front of the barge - apparently two different shots. See more »
What I do requires a certain mindset. I do assignments; designated targets. Some jobs need to look like accidents. Others must cast suspicion on someone else. A select few need to send a clear message. Pulling a trigger is easy. The best jobs are the ones nobody even knows you were there.
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I am in no way familiar with the original Charles Bronson film The Mechanic from 1972, but that may have actually been a benefit with a film like this. This remake does seem to be targeted toward my demographic though. The Mechanic caters to those who enjoy hard-hitting action films with a lot of blood that spews more vulgarities than you care to keep track of with a fair chance of nudity along the way. Truth be told, if done right those types of films can be massively entertaining and The Mechanic definitely falls into the "done right" category.
Jason Statham really seems to be hit or miss when it comes to how entertaining his films are and lately his work just hasn't been all that satisfying. The Expendables left a really sour taste in my mouth, so I wasn't sure how The Mechanic would turn out. However, this film was actually able to put Statham back in top form since it was able to deliver a pretty great story to compliment Statham's bone crunching fight sequences he's become notorious for. Despite the fact that the dialogue is filled with F-bombs left and right, it fit the overall tone of the film very well. Ben Foster wasn't disappointing either. Foster is one of those incredible talents in his early thirties that most people seem to overlook as having endless potential. As far as his performance in The Mechanic, it isn't quite as powerful as he was in The Messenger but seems to be more similar to his role in Hostage yet refined a bit to leave his true motives questionable.
Donald Sutherland also makes the most of his short time on screen. He has two scenes with Jason Statham where he makes two fairly long speeches that seem to stick with you long after his character is gone. That's how short-lived characters in films like this should be; memorable.
The one thing the film falls victim to is the shaky camera during fight and chase scenes. It works most of the time and isn't hard to follow, but there were two scenes involving Jason Statham's character where it was hard to distinguish everything that was being shown because of this technique. It's just when two guys are in a scuffle and they're throwing fists or hurling their legs at their opponent, the camera whipping back and forth at the same time doesn't really help matters. Now some guy's dead, another falls to the ground after we hear a snap, and another is clutching his stomach even though we only saw the main character move twice. The technique gets confusing and either needs to be modified somehow or dropped altogether for something new.
The Mechanic is actually really entertaining and is very much the definition of a guy film. It's packed to the brim with explosions, bloody headshots, broken limbs, and even a hefty and destructive car chase sequence. The film is worth seeing for Ben Foster's performance, but it's nice to see Jason Statham in a film that isn't disappointing for once. Overall, The Mechanic is dark, gritty, bloody, and just a hell of a lot of fun.
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