Today: April 20, 2024

Mechanic, The

Jason Statham, bucket loads of action and orange
sunsets, it’s as if the 90s never ended.

 

Jason Statham is a dinosaur. Not in the Jurassic Park (1993) sense of the word but being a breed of leading
man that is otherwise extinct. While once upon a time the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis
ruled the box-office roost they have long since been replaced by more
identifiable everyday heroes like your Matt
Damons
or Shia LaBeoufs. So how
does someone of Statham’s physical appearance manage to continue the traditions
of all out attack action man? Simple, he does it with a wry wink that allows us
into the homoerotic nature of what is going on before us. The Mechanic
continues his cinematic outings to over-the-top, forgettable but endlessly
enjoyable fun.

 

Arthur (Statham)
is an incredibly efficient assassin. Renowned in the industry for getting the
job done at any cost he leads a very lonely existence, anxious that no one
penetrates his steely amour. But when his employees kill his friend and mentor
Harry (Sutherland) he will team up
with Harry’s son Steve (Foster) to
teach him how to kill and together they will avenge Harry’s murder.

 

Remaking a Michael ‘Calm Down Dear’ Winner film
might not seem like the best idea in the world. However, while the original
Mechanic is a bit of 70s nonsense the updated version wears its heart firmly on
its sleeve. This is not a film that will test your moral or intellectual IQ.
Instead it is a film that revels in the glee of explosions and wonderfully
choreographed fight sequences to keep the thrills and spills flowing.

 

Director Simon West, whose biggest credit to
date is still his debut film Con Air (1997), may have left the Jerry Bruckheimer stable behind him but
he certainly has not lost the frantic visuals associated with the
super-producer. The action is slicker than a seal covered in Vaseline, the
world basked in orange hued sunsets and the energy relentlessly kinetic. Sure
the themes and sub-text are layered on with a steam-roller and the plot is
utterly predictable, but you don’t go to see Jason Statham doing deep drama,
you go for the guns, kicks and rock hard abs. In every sense this film ticks
though boxes.

 

Statham plays
Arthur with a cool, almost James Bond like, distance from the world around him.
By now he plays this kind of role in his sleep, but there is a rewarding
joviality to seeing him kick seven bells out of all those who oppose him. He is
of course the calm calculated killer to Foster’s wild psychosis and the two
have little to no chemistry to speak of. However, they are never really
intended to or given reign to. Foster has quietly etched out a career playing
these angry characters, see 3:10 To Yuma
(2007) and Alpha Dog (2006) as
examples, and here brings a quiet menace that keeps the audience guessing as to
his eventual motives.

 

With more class
than the Crank films and less pouting than The Transporter films, The Mechanic
is a pedal to the metal action film that throws rather than pulls punches. You might need a tune up afterwards but
this Mechanic certainly knows how to get the engine purring.

 

To Pre-Order The Mechanic On DVD Click Here Or On Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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