Here we go, Jason Statham is back as a another unstoppable killing machine in The Mechanic. I’ve lost count as to how many films Statham has made where he plays a hitman, but what makes this film kind of a stand out is that it’s a remake of the classic 1972 film starring Charles Bronson. I have not seen the original in many, many years, so I will not make comparisons, because I just don’t remember. Simon West is back in the director’s chair (Con-Air) and with an eclectic cast that includes Donald Sutherland and Ben Foster, how will this remake measure up? Let’s see what happens.
So you want the best? Then you hire the best. Arthur Bishop (Statham) is a “Mechanic” who takes care of problems that need taking care of with skill, precision, and zero compromise. After completing his most recent and successful job Arthur’s friend and mentor is murdered by the same company that has hired him to complete past missions. It’s now up to him and his former mentor’s son Steve (Foster) to team up and bring down this nameless corporation.
Yeah, so this is Statham’s 57th role as a hitman. It doesn’t get old, because I actually love the genre of hitman movies (can they even be called a genre?), but what I am getting tired of are hitman movies where the hitman has ZERO depth. Why should I care about this guy? He leads a boring life with the exception of him hooking up with hot chicks when he’s finished a mission. Okay, been there, done that. What else? Oh, you throw in a funny sour old bird (Sutherland) who was probably on set for a total of 5 minutes spewing ad-libbed dialogue at a rapid pace. I’ll give you Sutherland. He was pretty hysterical. What about introducing a young punk who has failed in life, but is able to internalize the hitman lifestyle in the span of five minutes? Check! He’s here too.
Forgive the above rant as I was being sarcastic, but truthful. All of the characters are dull and cliched. Does The Mechanic even one redeeming quality to show for itself? Yes. The action. There are some pretty nice executions throughout the film and one really uncomfortable, but insane hand to hand combat scene. Those are the good parts and the bulk of my two star ratings for the film.
As for the rest of the film, it’s just not that interesting. Statham had more depth and characterization during the non-action scenes of The Expendables than he does here. Ben Foster is wasted as this stupid kid who hasn’t grown up that is prone to self-destructive behavior. Why am I supposed to care about these people again? Ah, that’s right, it’s still a revenge story. The action scenes are handled relatively well as they are not cut in a rapid pace, so you can actually see what is going on.
Watching The Mechanic made me feel nothing. It actually did make me want to track down the original with Charlie Bronson. I know that these type of films aren’t supposed to be taken serious, but its the fact they ARE taking themselves way too seriously and that kind of kills it for me. Here’s hoping they release they release the original on Blu-ray sometime soon. I’d love to do a comparison.
The Mechanic is presented in 1080p 2.40:1 widescreen. This is a mixed bag. In watching the film I could totally tell that unusual filters were used (or post production tinkering) where some of the daylight sequences had an unnatural look to them. In fact, most of the film looks way too dark. Flesh tones do look natural and flush, but certain scenes, especially in Arthur’s forest pad, look murky. I did not detect dirt or blemishes and it had a nice layer of grain throughout. It’s the murkiness that still bothered me.
The Mechanic is presented in DTS_HD MA 5.1. What the video has in murkiness the audio has in clarity. This is a near reference track! Gunshots, punches all ring out in a very aggressive fashion that made me pick up my teeth off the floor. I have a thing about people getting kicked in the face when they’re down and there’s one scene here that does just that. It messed me up! Dialogue is always clean even when Statham speaks since he hardly ever raises his voice past a whisper in these type of hitman roles. Explosions also sound lifelike and really give the LFE a workout. The surround channels also carry the background noise really well inside and outside.
The Mechanic has some extended and deleted scenes and a brief featurette on the making of. Nothing spectacular here.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes
- “Tools of the Trade” – Featurette
The Mechanic is a below average hitman action flick. The story and characterizations are non-existent, but most will say that it’s just a dumb action movie and that’s the reason it works. Okay, that’s fine, but I’ll wait for the day that they release an action extravaganza featuring hitmen that actually have depth to their characters or is self aware as a movie. Even a nudge of self-awareness on how ridiculous a movie like this is would have made me give it a 3 star. Now if The Mechanic had the characterizations of The American, it would have been the best hitman film ever made! Then I woke up. If you want some nice kills, harsh language, and blood then you might like it. I do recommend it as a rental, but nothing more.
Order The Mechanic on Blu-ray!