Let’s Talk About Movies: The Mechanic

Although “The Mechanic” was unremarkable regarding acting or originality, the movie delivered a slick and entertaining action experience, perfect for escaping the chilly weather.A remake of a 1972 Charles Bronson movie by the same name, the 2011 version varies from the original but still lacks originality in an oversaturated action movie market.

“The Mechanic” followed the tale of Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), who works as an elite assassin, nicknamed a “mechanic.” Despite earning a reputation for his brutal efficiency, Bishop’s employers duped him into killing his mentor and friend, Harry McKenna. In what can be seen as an act of penitence, Bishop trains Steve (Ben Foster), Harry’s son, as an assassin.

The acting the movie was exactly what you’d expect it to be. Statham brought to the table the same persona he has played in numerous other movies. Foster did little to break away from the humdrum, making moments that could have been insightful character development seem cold and lifeless. Not that being cold as an assassin would be a bad thing, but given the experience he endured through the film, a little emotion wouldn’t have hurt.

In addition to the unoriginal acting, the plot was similarly uninspired. Tales of revenge have been around as long as time itself. Plot twists, even bland ones, were few and far between. Even the climax of the movie could be anticipated about 45 minutes into this movie.

However, the packaging on this movie made up for most of the plot and character shortcomings. The action sequences in this film were fairly well polished and carried with them a nuanced feel. Thankfully not present are the ridiculously over-the-top action sequences found in other Statham movies, a la “Crank.” Yes, there are moments that you need to suspend your disbelief, but, overall, the action delivered an interesting aesthetic.

Going along with the action, the pacing of the movie was excellent. The movie moved from sequence to sequence at a good clip, despite lagging a few times with overdone camera work. You’re not overwhelmed with nonstop action, but you’re also never given the chance to fall asleep.

“The Mechanic” is exactly what you’d think it would be. It’s violent. It’s not terribly original. It has great action. It’s not going to win any awards, but what’s wrong with a well-packaged, run-of-the-mill action movie from time to time?


MPAA Rating: R
Final Grade: B-