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I am one of the original Jason Statham fans. I loved the Transporter,
Crank and his collaborations with Guy Ritchie like Revolver and even
tolerated some of his less glorious efforts such as Death Race.
For me what makes his movies so enjoyable is the tongue in cheek humour and the likable side of the tough guy. We all know he's not a great actor but the lovable rogue is his trademark and that's why we keep going back for more.
"The Mechanic" is about a ruthless hit man and it gives Statham no opportunity to smile or engage in banter, nor make us laugh. It's a non- stop action film with a few goofs and a script with holes big enough to drive a bus through. Normally I would forgive and forget, because I like him, but he didn't make me laugh nor make me wish I could be like him this time.
There were no characters to like in this film, but there was plenty of action which makes it instantly forgettable. I know you want to read the movie was great but I wouldn't be honest if I pretended it was. Worth watching but don't expect another Transporter.
I just got back from seeing a late night showing of The Mechanic. After
having a long week, this film did exactly what I wanted it to
Was the plot original? No.
Was the acting amazing? No.
But... Was the action good? Yes.
Was Jason Stathham in it? Yes.
Can you ask for anything else in an action film these days? It didn't label itself as a milestone of cinematic achievement. It was marketed as an action film, with good death scenes, mildly intriguing characters, and a simple plot and it delivered exactly on cue. Go see this if you just want to see some good action stars kick-butt for a couple of hours. 6/10
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"
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A typical Statham movie, like the Transporter but with a higher dose of brutality and nastiness. Statham's character Arthur Bishop, a.k.a the Mechanic, is awesomely tough and cold-blooded, and the assassination plans and escapes are brilliant. But images like that of an old man getting shot in the chest (near the beginning) are hard to shake. Ben Foster is great as the jaded alcoholic who becomes the apprentice assassin. It's not clear where he learnt to take on a 350 pound killer with his bare hands, but like he says, "I've seen some s***." All the men in black suits and SUVs who try to protect their clients are equally impressive, and ineffectual. What use are dark glasses and handguns against killers who can climb buildings? Bishop has his hideaway out on the Bayou where he enjoys the finer things in life, like playing the soft classical music that soothes him after a killing, and rebuilding his Jaguar. (And his idea of rebuilding involves micrometres as much as wrenches.) He's got an arrangement with a woman that involves quick visits and wads of cash left on the table. His friend Harry tells him that he (Bishop) needs companionship, but the movie makes it pretty plain why his friendships don't last long. After the intense action sequences you may be saying cool, but does this guy have a soul? If so, it's well hidden under Statham's half-shaved, snarled-lip mug.
Some things may not make sense and the storytelling may feel extremely fast paced, but you know what, in those moments where 'The Mechanic' promised to entertain you, it does it at its best. And don't get me wrong, cause I'm not a Statham's fan. I didn't like 'The transporter' cause the acting (especially the bad guy) was way too unreal. I didn't like 'Crank' either cause the directing was really bad. 'The Mechanic' is not a movie focused on the story but on the action, and that's where it shines. The action scenes are really sublime and they don't stop until the last minute. Actors also fit in an interesting story. Again, the director chose not to develop the story but to give an explosive experience, and I believe he achieved it. Don't look for a deep experience here and you won't be disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I understand the suspension of disbelief. I understand watching only
for "entertainment" but even within these realms this movie makes
absolutely no sense. The lead character is the heartless solitary
killer for hire working for the nondescript assassins r us. Then out of
nowhere a guy shows up and tells him his best and only friend, his
freaking mentor betrayed the company causing the death of some fellow
assassins. Almost without question he promptly kills him... why? he
betrayed the company, so... some other assassins got killed that he
either didn't know or did not like, and what does he do? He shoots his
friend. He doesn't help him or warn him or even ask him if it's true,
(yes he falls or the oldest hit man ploy in the book) he shoots him
because if he doesn't do it someone else will, stupid.
Then the heartless cold blooded assassin feels some sort of guilt and takes his dead friend's son under his wing and in less than two weeks trains him to be a super assassin taking out other trained killers with no sweat, right.
Eventually our hero figures out what every single person watching knew from the beginning, he was set up. He then proceeds to hunt down and kill everyone involved even his best friends son. Yep that's right he drags this innocent kid into the situation, he doesn't need the kids help for any of it nor does he makes any attempt to explain anything to him he just goes to very elaborate lengths to plan the kid's death.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
1. For a movie that tries to make you root for Steve, the killings...
oh dear. West was clearly going for shock value, but I somehow felt
sorry for the people being killed. So depressing and grotesque.
2. The pair go around and into other's places, and they don't wear gloves, leave plenty of fingerprints, and yet they aren't once suspected of murder.
3. Honestly, if Bishop knew that he'd get into pickle with his boss, why did he even bother with Steve at all. A good assassin would be professional and not go out of his way to train some drunkard douche and kill him later.
4. What was the point of the O'hare bus fight??? I know Bishop wanted him out of the way quick, but why bother putting his work aside for the sake of killing some random guy??
5. On that note, how did no one notice a fight on a bus, but just a guy getting hit with a car after being tossed out a window?
6. The ending. Steve is like 20 KM from the gas station and this is a wireless detonator. How is that even possible????? There HAS to be some distance limit. That was such bullcrap.
7. The acting is terrible. Statham, an actor I usually love, was limited to 2 emotions (if you can call them that): 1. "Don't bother me, I'm trying to figure out who this target is" and 2. "Don't bother me, I'm trying to make sure the job is done correctly" Ben Foster mumbles his way through the film, I literally could not understand WTF he was saying. You thought Ray Winstone's mumbling in Edge of Darkness was bad? Ben is FAR worse. His lines needed English subtitles.
8. Better than 80% of the film was reaction shots with no dialog, of people standing around looking shocked. The rest of the film is jargon-filled exposition heavy dialogue and about 5 minutes of actual action.
9. LAZY ACTION SCENES. I'm tired of going to action films and getting sick because the director has a problem with people being able to see what's going on. Shaky camera and quick cutting must die, I'm tired of it.
10. When I walked out, I felt depressed and sick, like I just ran 4 miles and ran face first into a brick wall. I was excited, but this was just bleak, boring and lame, and I am a Jason Statham fan.
I have not seen the original, and I must say I CERTAINLY don't plan on it any time soon. Avoid.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I admire Jason Statham, I really do. He's managed to transform being a
bald, vaguely threatening Englishman into movie fame and fortune (see:
Transporter series, Crank series, etc.). He's found his niche, and he's
sticking with it; more power to him.
But this movie is pretty bad. I saw another reviewer describe this movie as a thriller. It is not. Nothing happens in this movie that you can't see coming a mile away. Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version which CONTAINS SPOILERS. Jason Statham is a badass professional murderer-- Sorry, hit-man-- who likes to kill his targets in ways that look like accidents, which is kinda clever. He works for "the company", which is never named, so I'm going to call it Evil, Incorporated. Evil, Inc is run by two guys: The soft spoken, wheelchair bound older guy who's been Statham's character's friend since forever. The other guy has a corporate haircut, wears an expensive suit and rides around in a convoy of sleek black vehicles, accompanied by sunglasses-wearing men with guns.
Anyway, Corporate Guy tells Statham that his old friend is In League With The Enemy, and Statham kills his old pal at Corporate Guy's behest. The Old Pal's drunken loser kid shows up and asks Statham to train him up so he can find and kill the man who killed his dad. Statham agrees, because I guess a washed up, vengeance crazed drunk is the guy you want along when speed, silence, and skill are your keys to survival. Cue training montage.
Statham finds out that Corporate Guy is SPOILERS AHEAD the real villain (bet you didn't see that coming). They set out to kill him, Drunk Loser Kid finds out Statham killed his dad, they kill Corporate Guy, Loser Kid tries to kill Statham, but Statham gets away and kills him instead. Roll credits.
In addition to the cookie cutter plot, there were a few other things that annoyed me. 1) Statham's character is utterly unsympathetic. He's a loner who kills people for money. His only female companionship is a hooker. 2) He's supposed to live in the bayou area near New Orleans. His house has glass walls. Never mind that his work depends on secrecy; that's a hurricane zone. 3) I know this is small, but anyway: during the training scene, we see Statham and Drunk Kid shooting various guns. In one show motion cut, someone fires a Barret-type .50 caliber rifle, and the spent casing gets ejected toward the camera. The casing is crimped on the projectile end-- It's a freaking BLANK. Seriously, guys?
Wait for the DVD and watch it with pizza and easily amused friends.
An assassin's abilities are tested when he takes on an apprentice, but
things get complicated when he finds he's been used on his last job.
Entertaining assassin/mentor yarn which tries to avoid clichés. Donald Sutherland puts in a welcomed cameo but is missed throughout the rest of the film. Jason Statham is hit man Arthur Bishop, while he can do these roles action roles blind folded Statham is subtler and more complex than most previous parts he's played. Ben Foster gives a hard hitting performance giving an edginess and weight to the character of Steve McKenna and corporate bad guy Tony Goldwyn is notable.
Some logic aside the Mechanic stands head and shoulders above the mass of recent cheap and big budget flicks due to it's 1973 source material, smart writing and Simon West's gritty direction. The wonderful locations give it an air of realism and the soundtrack complements the setups.
With some thought out character development, twists and well executed action scenes it's a pleasing above average hit-man thriller.
Being a hit-man has its challenges. Like murdering people for money and then not trying to think about it. After all, hit-man ARE human too and have feelings, just like the rest of us who work at more mundane jobs. The problem with this movie is that the story is so weak that not even the nonstop violence is enough to prop it up. Gratuitous scenes of violence is a telltale sign that a movie is in trouble and this movie is in deep trouble. Besides offering the thinnest of stories, the movie contains what has to be some of the cheesiest acting in recent cinematic history. The movie borders on being campy yet fails to attain that dubious status since it's really not goofy enough to be taken with a grain of salt. In short, the story is stale but without being laughable. The characters are two-dimensional, cartoon-like, and are devoid of anything that sparks even the slightest bit of interest. The violence is pervasive and explicit, but when the targets themselves are vicious, the violence fails to generate any sympathy. A hit-man plotting to assassinate another hit-man just does not make for a dramatic story.
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