The Mechanic is the type of movie a lot of people wait for DVD to check out. Sure it looks alright, but not necessarily $11.00 at the ticket window alright. And as is the case with a lot of movies in this category, they can end up surprisingly kicking some major ass when you give them a shot at home.
The movie stars Mr. Badass himself, Jason Statham, as Arthur Bishop. Bishop is “The Mechanic” of the title and although he may be restoring a classic car in his free time, this mechanic does not specialize in changing oil and replacing spark plugs. Instead he “fixes” things for others as a hired hit man. After his mentor (played in a small role by Donald Sutherland) is murdered, the late man’s son (played by Ben Foster) comes to Bishop wanting to be shown the ropes and follow in his father’s footsteps while also seeking revenge for his murder. This sets up the plot of experienced Bishop attempting to take the newbie under his wing and being burdened with cleaning up after his protégé’s rookie mistakes.
Sure this sounds like a million other buddy action flicks. In fact it is a remake of a 1972 film of the same name starring Charles Bronson. What makes this hit man-for-hire movie a bit different is that Arthur & CO do not just shoot to kill but instead construct elaborate murders of their targets to make it look like their deaths occurred naturally. This element creates a lot more suspense to the kill scenes than the typical sniper rifle take down from a rooftop scenario. It also gives the movie a bit more brains than you might expect. The Mechanic is no ingenious work of film, but it avoids some of the over-the-top implausibility and silliness found in other Statham movies like The Transporter and Crank series.
The action in The Mechanic is brutal and oftentimes hard to watch so audiences sensitive to hardcore and intense violence should definitely stay clear. Though however brutal the action may be, it is also pretty dang exciting. There is a fight sequence involving Foster’s character and a mark that rivals the Patricia Arquette vs. James Gandolfini fight scene from True Romance (aka one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history) both a bit in setting as well as in raw physical combat. And while most of the action in the movie is of the combat variety, there is also an impressive shoot-em-up, blow-em-up car chase sequence in the movie’s climax that had me rewinding to watch again.
Sure the action is intense and the violence extreme, but what carries the movie is Statham himself. There’s not another action star working today who has more laid claim to the title of movie badass. Statham has all of the uber macho gravitas of 80’s action stars like Schwarzenegger and Stallone, but without any of the cheese. He plays no nonsense tough guys in almost all of his roles and Arthur Bishop is no exception. There is barely a moment in the movie where the man dares even crack a smile. The guy basically personifies testosterone. Statham is a guy’s guy and The Mechanic is totally a guy’s movie. Guys watch Statham in movies and think, “I want to be THAT guy!” and I will be honest I am no exception. No, I don’t want to be a heartless assassin (I don’t remember a big representation for that kind of work at Career Day in high school), but it is impossible for guys to watch Statham’s effortlessness, manly-man machismo and not wish they could exude a bit more of it themselves.
The Mechanic can be rented at your Denver area video stores and Redbox and Blockbuster Express locations.