Let’s be honest. It’s rare to find a good action movie that’s not cliché and predictable. We know countless shells of ammunition will spill on the ground. We know at least a couple tough guy one-liners are inevitable. We know someone will get punched really hard in the face.
You really just hope that the one you’re watching chalks up a low score on the predictability scale. The Mechanic did that for me.
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is an elite hitman, aka a mechanic. Feeling guilty for taking out a close and personal target (Donald Sutherland,) he accepts the target’s son Steve McKenna (Ben Foster) as his protégé. I wonder if the kid is going to find out? Don’t cry that I’ve already pointed out the key storyline. Remember, we’re here for the action.
Though the audience that goes to see this film probably won’t admit it, I find it perfectly acceptable to have a man-crush on the bullet-headed intensity of Statham. He’s leading the game of modern action heroes and in many ways he’s a likable actor.
Of course this is a movie about over-excess. Just look at the movie poster. It’s a picture of a gun, made up of a bunch of little guns.
The only really annoying thing about this movie had nothing to do with the lead actors. In one scene Statham has a friendly old man who serves as his watchman. (Think of him as a Wal-Mart style greeter.) When he is not at his post, it should be clear that something is wrong. Instead, the film dumbs itself down, and highlights the facts that the old man is not at his post, tipping you off that he is missing. Is this not obvious? Did the film editor fall asleep? No, it’s just a ploy to keep everyone up to pace with what’s going on.
Overall, Statham and Foster deliver solid performances in a film that falls victim to action cliché. It’s a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie of the same name, for the new generation. While it may be easy to point out faults, I find it suited my latent bloodlust for the day.