Some slack was needed for hard edged thriller The Mechanic to truly blossom into a thing of brutal beauty, rather than the cold action film presented before us.
It has become apparent that Jason Statham is the long overdue answer to Sly and Arnie that we have been waiting for, and like those action titans bad movies are a part of the package.
The Mechanic is the latest dud starring the British hard man. A remake of the Charles Bronson classic of the same name, Statham stars as Arthur Bishop, an assassin whose expertise in the game of death has him on top of his profession, demanding million dollar contracts which allows him to afford a quaint house decked out in fine art, making him a man of culture as well as a man of murder.
When his latest job see’s him kill off his traitor boss and father figure Harry (Donald Sutherland), the usually neutral Bishop takes on Harry’s estranged son Steve (Ben Foster) as a protégé, disrupting his discreet existence with a wild card harbouring a death wish.
Threaded throughout is the usual action mumbo jumbo about loyalty and redemption, but it is action that the punters came to see and very violent action is what they get, as lewd targets are disposed of usually by head shot with brain splatter a favourite here.
Yet while violence is prominent, excitement is not, with director Simon West failing to get pulses racing, which is a shame since as his Con Air proved, West can do schlocky action entertainment like no other.
Problem here is the nature of these characters, as the need for precision in their craft dictates a film that is much too tight in structure and too introverted in emotion, creating a dull movie going experience where even brief hardcore sexploitation fails to get the blood pumping.
What does work is the coupling of Statham and Foster, as their different screen personas clash to often good results. Foster is especially a treat, with his jerky, hot tempered mannerisms just the right counter to Statham’s hard as nails action man personality, which for some reason is without his patented low level humour this time out.
The Mechanic proves that while revenge is a dish best served cold, revenge movies are best served with some fire in the belly.