Synopsis: 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.
Release Date: January 28, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Jason Statham is, once again, the character of an assassin. Playfully termed in this film as a ‘mechanic’ he fixes what needs to be fixed by whatever method he chooses with the result always remaining the same: death. What The Mechanic‘s script and direction have forgotten with this typecast character Statham is so good at playing is the jolt of excitement. His character Arthur Bishop is the quintessential lone wolf deadly killer. His only friend is the man who trained him to be the best their is, while also remaining completely unseen to the world. He lives in a remote home on an island. His occasional female companion does not know his name and he leaves her cash on the table when he leaves. When his mentor Harry (Donald Sutherland) is killed as an assignment his world changes, and by agreeing to train Harry’s son, Ben (Harry Foster), he attempts to change himself by letting someone into his dangerous life.
The assignments continue to come in, and Arthur and Ben become a team of assassins but with little oomph to their work. A great deal of the movie is a strange slow-moving training manual exercise combined with awkward montages meant to delve into the psyche of the characters, and failing. The assignments should be a stimulating jolt for the viewer. An action-packed ride that climaxes at the perfect moments and surprises with even more action when least expected. The script does not provide for such a reaction. It lacks the necessary structure of an action film to keep the viewer’s attention fully. The cause? No clear direction for the characters or common “bad guy”. By the time the twist occurs it comes across as a quick afterthought in the plot. As if screenwriter Richard Wenk realized when he was almost done with the script that he forgot to include the villain so he threw him in quickly. The Mechanic is not without its perks, as it does have the occasional gun blaring action sequences and knuckle-down fights, and enough broken glass and furniture for three action films. Jason Statham is great as well, if underused physically, with his charismatic charm set to an agreeable level–the accent helps, quite a bit. Still, when The Mechanic should whelm you it does the complete opposite, leaving you underwhelmed and feeling like you settled for something below what is worthy of your attention.
Adding further disappointment for the ladies or gentlemen in the audience who come to see Jason Statham on screen so they may fetishize him is the severe lack of skin. The pleasure derived from him removing his shirt to reveal a chiseled torso and muscular build is all but forgotten. It may seem wrong to expect the objectification of an actor in every movie he appears in but if we are completely honest with ourselves, it is what we want and desire. Statham removing his shirt to do battle against a host of bad guys, sweat dripping off their bodies, blood spattering from their mouths, and the raw intensity of male testosterone oozing off the screen. That is what makes action movies featuring Statham a must for so many viewers. How does this make the film unique, you ask? Jason Statham without his shirt on is common place. This film has only two very quick scenes of him half naked. It is unique due to the direct violation it commits for Statham hungry fans–not giving a piece of him for their eyes to feast upon.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Simon WestRene Besson
- Producer(s): Richard Wenk
- Screenwriter(s): Jason Statham (Arthur Bishop)Ben Foster (Steve McKenna)Donald Sutherland (Harry McKenna)
- Story: Tony Goldwyn (Dean Sanderson)
- Cast: Christa Campbell (Kelly)Mini Anden (Sara) Todd E. MillerT.G. HerringtonEric SchmidtRichard Lassalle
- Cinematographer: Mark Isham
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA