Ben Foster and Jason Statham star in The Mechanic / photo: filmofilia.com
By Jess Bonniwell
I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised. VERY PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.
I had hoped at best for an action flick centered on the tall, dark, and “Handsome Rob” (haha… pun.).
Thankfully, it moved past him.
The Mechanic is a remake (is anything not a remake these days?) of the original action thriller of the same name made in 1972 starring Charles Bronson. The new film stars Jason Statham as the main role, and the lesser-known Ben Foster as the supporting character. Simon West, who we have to thank for a few gems such as Con-air and Black Hawk Down, directs the film. Lately however, West has done little besides working on a few television shows that gained a little bit of attention. This movie is a refreshing update on his film career and says that he can still put out. Jason Statham is well known and loved for his action roles. Perhaps one of his most famous and certainly my favorite role of his is the character of Handsome Rob in the 2003 film “The Italian Job”. Ben Foster is famous for many secondary roles and I must say a favorite actor of mine. Also appearing in a small role in this film is good old Donald Sutherland. He was in a wheelchair the entire time. I wonder if that was his character or if he needed it for real. (I kid, I kid. He did a great job).
Anyway, Here’s the breakdown for you (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD):
The Good: So I was about 30-40 minutes into the movie and bored out of my mind. The plot was horribly predictable, dry and boring. There was little to no action to be had and really not much to look at. AND THEN, one scene completely changed the tone of the entire movie and caused me to become very engaged (we’re talking the kind of engaging that makes your mouth hang open and you don’t even realize your drooling everywhere). The scene involved Ben Foster, a rookie hit man with no field experience, hunting and killing a veteran hit man who is quite literally 3 times his size. The tenseness begins to build when Foster breaks the rules and puts himself in a situation to have his head handed to him on a plate by the other hit man. The scene was well written and well executed and didn’t let you get off the edge of your seat until a good 3 minutes after it ended, at which point you sit back and wipe the sweat off your brow and breathe a well earned sigh of relief. After this scene, the entire mood and tone of the movie was so much more interesting and entertaining. Another thing I loved about this movie was its simplicity. The climax was a bit anti-climactic… but that wasn’t a bad thing! The mechanics (or hit men) always work cleanly and quickly. The death of the main antagonist was no exception to this rule. There definitely was a good amount of action, but it wasn’t the kind of crazy scene you would expect of a Die Hard film, AND IT WAS SO NICE!!! One more thing, It’s been a while since I couldn’t predict the ending of a movie. This one blew me away. I wont tell you because it really would ruin the surprise.
The Bad: I do have one thing I can complain about. The plot. It was terribly predictable and dry. Honestly the ending was the only thing that came as a surprise. It wasn’t a bad plot but there were a few obvious holes that could have used patching up.
The Bottom Line: Go for it. Simplicity was a key point to this movie, but at the same time some of the characters more complex emotions were well portrayed. Also, The action scenes were highly engaging and entertaining, partly because they didn’t last very long. Overall, a great film experience.
The Reel Rating: