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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Mechanic

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4_Chicks_Small  Judy Thorburn

Las Vegas Round The Clock -
Women's Film Critic Circle -
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This Mechanic is not a guy who is paid to fix cars. The Mechanic of the title is assigned to fix things, all right, but not vehicles, though, on occasion, he does like to fiddle around with his vintage red Jaguar. His job, of which he is handsomely paid, is to fix problems that require a cold blooded killer, the best in the business.

Based on Michael Winner's 1972 film of the same name, charismatic action star Jason Statham takes over the role of the Mechanic originally portrayed by the late Charles Bronson. It isn't a stretch for the actor, since it is the same type of character he has portrayed in numerous movies but one he is perfectly suited for and does damn well.

In regards to his surname, Arthur Bishop (Statham) is no saint, nor a religious man. On the contrary, he is a cold hearted, ruthless, calculating, killing machine, a professional assassin whose best jobs are the ones that noone knows you were ever there. It is a skilled he has mastered.

Emotionally detached from his marks, vowing to never let his feelings get in the way of his work, things get complicated when Bishop is assigned by boss Dean (Tony Goldwyn) to take out his former mentor and friend, wheelchair bound Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland) leaving behind his estranged son Steven (The Messenger's Ben Foster, filling the shoes of Jan Michael Vincent), a loose cannon looking for a way to vent his pent up anger and seek revenge.

Showing some rare feelings of guilt and a newfound conscience, with much prompting from the young man, Bishop reluctantly agrees to take Steven under his wing as his protege, teaching him the ropes and tricks of the trade, unaware (or maybe not) that his cunning apprentice may have his own suspicions and agenda. As we all know, secrets and betrayals can never stay hidden and the ramifications are always deadly especially when it involves dangerous weapons in human form.

Director Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Rider) delivers a high voltage action thriller filled to the gills with brutal, graphic violence including stabbings and impalings, plus explosions, gunfights, car chases, and twists and turns. As to loose ends, there are plenty of times we have to suspend belief and go with the flow. For example, I wondered why, after his kill the meticulous hitman never wiped away any fingerprints. He is also invincible, able to dodge bullets that are repeatedly fired at him, never mind scaling tall buildings in broad daylight without anyone noticing.

That said, Statham and Foster make an explosive team made up of two very different personalities; Foster's edgy, volatile behavior vs. Statham's more stoic, calculating reserve. Though both lean and mean, Foster, one of the best actors of his generation, adds more layers to his role while Statham, is all testosterone, not that I am complaining. Female eye candy aside, in the future I would like to see the action star take on something different and stretch those acting chops.

Be that as it may, The Mechanic and its impressive teaming up of Statham and Foster works as an entertaining, adrenaline rush. Even if not new or original, fans of the action genre will find it worth the price of theatre admission.

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