{2jtab: Movie Review}

The Mechanic - Movie Review


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4 stars

Doing exactly what he does best, Jason Statham delivers the body count numbers that matter in this re-imagined and re-tooled 1972 Charles Bronson action revenge flick.  The action is bloody and high-spirited and the dialogue is low, making room for some pretty hair-raising action set pieces that speak volumes in edge-of-the-seat antics.  The logic of the original story is there, just understated to such a level that, at times, the picture rolls out with a true assassin’s pace – stealthily.

Written by Lewis John Carlino (who wrote the original) and Richard Wenk, The Mechanic tells the story of a very dangerous man who fixes other men’s “people” problems and then disappears for awhile off the coast of New Orleans, presumably around St. Tammany Parish where he waits for his next assignment.  He’s cool, quiet, and only shares his real name, Arthur Bishop (Statham), with some New Orleans prostitutes, but, hilariously enough, they never believe him; finding faith in names like David.  He survives through murderous detachment.

Seemingly, the only thing Arthur connects to is his vinyl collection which he lovingly wipes with a dust cloth before placing its warmth upon the record player.  His newest assignment, which he questions only momentarily, is going to lead him into a strange new world where he agrees to mentor the hot-headed son, Steve (Ben Foster), of his own recently murdered mentor, Harry (Donald Sutherland).  Together, the two work to fix other people’s problems until they get close enough to the truth about Harry’s murder.

After opening with a violent and fairly humorous action piece (ala 007) that sees Statham mirror swimming with a corpse, The Mechanic, directed by Simon West, quickly finds its groove as something a bit more than a simple re-tooling job of a minor action film from the 1970’s.  Consider the talent involved with this film: Statham, fresh off The Expendables, is the action hero badass, Foster provides the needed emotion of a son struggling with his father’s death, and Sutherland the gravitas that comes with his understanding of what this movie is as an action flick.  He’s the leftover from the era of revenge flicks; the dinosaur of the cast, if you will.  Still, he’s dangerous and wonderfully accurate with his performance here – even if it is somewhat too brief.

Statham and Foster dominate the film with cool tension and solid handling of their characters – even if this is genre material; it’s still quality.  The high-roofed exploits that come into play during the apprehending of one of their targets is lively and suddenly dramatic, with a near-death and silent two-person fall from the top of a high storied building.  It’s edgy and perfect.  Precise, too, like most of the action sequences throughout The Mechanic.

While there isn’t dialogue a-plenty in this film, there is enough chemistry and general badass tomfoolery between Sutherland and Statham and then later, Statham and Foster, to fully understand just the type of movie this isn’t trying to be.  Sometimes it’s good to let other films provide the thinking.  And it absolutely and wonderfully achieves that B-movie mark; making room for a sequel should this pull in the right number of pre-Super Bowl crowds.

It might be familiar territory, but The Mechanic won’t leave you disappointed with the service he performs.


{2jtab: Film Details}

The Mechanic - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity.
: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenk; Lewis John Carlino
Cast: Jason Statham; Ben Foster; Tony Goldwyn; Donald Sutherland
: Action
Memorable Movie Quote:
"But I don't want to read it. I want to do it."
CBS Films
Someone has to fix the problems.
Official Site:
Release Date: January 28, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date:
May 17, 2011

Plot Synopsis: Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed - he wants those responsible dead.

His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade. Bishop has always acted alone but he can't turn his back on Harry's son. A methodical hit man takes an impulsive student deep into his world and a deadly partnership is born. But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Mechanic Blu-ray review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

2 stars

Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 17, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English, English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); BD-Live; movieIQ
Playback: Region A (locked)

Arriving with near-perfect execution, Sony’s 1080p transfer is sharp and deadly.  The colors are deeply saturated and robust with its tinted colors.  The color palette is warm and reflects the visual intent of the filmmakers with its strong black tones.  Facial features are fully realized and the faintest of pores are visible.  Full of great detail and wonderful articulation of its background and set design, The Mechanic does not disappoint.  Nor does its bombastic DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack fail to disappoint with its sonic field.



  • None

Special Features:

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot on this release from Sony.  Surprising considering this was a minor January hit when it was originally released.  With only two short featurettes, one a collection of deleted scenes and the other a stunt-based showcasing of some of the dangerous stunts of the film, the special features are short and a wee bit disappointing.

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (11 min)
  • Tools of the Trade: Inside the Action (8 min)
  • Previews: Additional Sony titles.
  • BD-Live.
  • MovieIQ


{2jtab: Trailer}