You want me to like your action movie? Here’s what you do: be fun, don’t be afraid to be goofy, please revel in absurdity, and for the love of all that is cinematic, do not take yourself too seriously. You can break most of those rules, just don’t get all self-serious on me and pretend like you’re making high art, because that’s the quickest route to boredom, the cardinal sin of movies. Simon West’s The Mechanic does this, which is a pity since it stars Jason Statham, who is the prime action hero working today who’s not afraid to make ridiculous, yet entertaining, trash. The biggest problem probably has to do with the fact that this is a remake of a 1972 Michael Winner film of the same name that starred Charles Bronson. This updated film acts like it must treat its predecessor with reverence, but all this does is create a movie with the personality sucked from it. The film gets the basics of the original down with Statham playing Arthur Bishop, a humorless loner of a hitman who calls himself a “mechanic” since he’s in the business of fixing problems, with a specialty in complicated hits that look like accidents. He gets hired to knock off his long-time friend and boss Harry (Donald Sutherland), and out of either loyalty or guilt, decides to train Harry’s son Steve (Ben Foster) in the ways of being a hitman. As far as plot goes, the movie is mostly the even-keeled Arthur teaching the hotheaded Steve the ropes. The film really wants to be about the relationship between the two men, but it’s never fleshed out properly, just hints here and there at something more. In the end, it’s neither the “something more” it would like to be nor an over-the-top actioner, meaning it’s not much of anything at all.
Official Site: www.themechanicmovie.com
Director: Simon West
Writer: Karl Gajdusek
Producer: Robert Chartoff, William Chartoff, Rob Cowan, Marcy Drogin and Avi Lerner
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Tony Goldwyn, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden, Eddie J. Fernandez, Kurt Deville, LaTeace Towns-Cuellar and Monica Acosta
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