Review – The Mechanic

Jason Statham movies are a guilty pleasure and I wonder how many people would talk to the streets in protest if the guy retired from action hero duties. Put down the placards for another day because the man shows no signs of slowing down and returns to the domain of B-grade action with ‘The Mechanic’ a remake based on the 1972 Charles Bronson film of the same name. In the updated version of ‘The Mechanic’ Arthur (Jason Statham) is an elite hit man who takes on a protégé named Steve (Ben Foster) who has a connection with one of his previous victims. ‘The Mechanic’ is everything you’d want in a Jason Statham film with gratuitous sex and violence layered on top of a thin and predictable plot with some shonky chemistry between the leads. The problem is the film tries too hard to be sophisticated rather than relishing in its schlock-tastic explosion filled environment.

The action in ‘The Mechanic’ is good but it isn’t great and as frequent as you’d like it to be. For an action film there is way too much time spent in-between action beats that slows down the pace of the film. Statham & Foster have zero chemistry as an action duo and while Statham does his usual tough guy act, Foster comes across as just ridiculous.
The plot is predictable with most of the emphasis on how bad guys are dispatched rather than story but you can’t expect anymore than that in a film of this nature, it’s not like Statham is going to deliver a long monologue scripted by Aaron Sorkin on the ethical decisions a hit man is required to make and the impact that has on western civilisation. You want to see Statham throw a bad guy off a building and say ‘mind the gap’ and that’s what you get.

Despite being an over the top auctioneer ‘The Mechanic’ loses points for not fully embracing the B-grade action genre. You can tell the filmmakers wanted to make something gritty in the same model as the ‘Bourne’ films but would have been more successful if they’d gone the other way with crazy non-stop action.


The Popcorn Junkie