As the many of the films in this genre play out; there are unusual amounts of attractive women, unrealistic fight sequences and millions of bullets flying around. One can say, high expectations are not required when watching them.
Although director Simon West has had success with his other films (Tomb Raider & Con Air), “The Mechanic” seems to lack character development and any form of reality. The balding bad-ass Jason Statham is our main character and replaced Charles Bronson from the original 1972 film.
Unlike other contract killer films, the job always has an effect; whether it be mentally or emotionally (“Hitman“ and “The Bourne Series“) but Statham’s character, Bishop, shows no remorse or emotional attachment.
Instead, he lounges in his modern style home and fixes up old cars while ruthlessly killing people on this side. As most assassins kill people in a way of their choosing, Bishop must kill his targets in specific ways where they appear staged.
As most new action packed films play out, there is very little plot or character development and instead low-attention span violence. This film shows how Hollywood’s definition of entertainment is changing – from good plot mixed with action to less plot, more blood and half naked women. And trust me, there is not shortage of that in this film.
“The Mechanic” does have a few decent additions: the first is Donald Sutherland. Similar to his role in “The Italian Job,” he portrays the wise mentor in which Bishop idolizes but also creates the conflict. The second is Sutherland’s angry and immature son, played by Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma). These two character not only add a human element to Statham’s emotionless acting, but they make a connection with the audience.
In “The Mechanic,” Bishop must make a terrible decision (one I wont say without giving away a major plot twist) and after the decision is made, he decides to take in Foster’s character. Bishop’s character take an unusual turn when he opens up his secret life to this kid and “takes him under his wing.”
The main villain of this film involves Tony Goldwyn (also, ironically, the villain in “Ghost” and “The Last Samurai”) playing the CEO of the killing organization that employs Bishop. When Bishop turns down a direct order from Goldwyn, the boss puts a hit out for Bishop.
Much of the film involves Bishop and Foster defying the rules of gravity by repelling off skyscrapers that, interestingly, doesn’t affect their aim. The fighting scenes are very similar to that seen in “Transporter and “The Expendables,” and the questionable acting is similar as well.
While watching this film, it made me think about a few things. First, how easy it is being an assassin in the twenty-first century. Shows like CSI show these intricate crime labs where DNA is found in the smallest of dust particles, yet Statham’s isn’t found anywhere. Second, why are their no police in this film.
One scene, which was heavily advertised in the previews, shows a car chase involving Statham in a garbage truck and Goldwyn in a Cadillac. The two cars were going at least 75 miles per hour and their was not one cop around – I find that ridiculous. This leads to my last and most important thought: why was this film created? It has no unique qualities and is identical to Statham’s “Crank” series. the industry would be no different without its creation.