In The Mechanic, Jason Statham is an elite assassin who is asked to kill his mentor. After the latter’s death, Jason takes up the job of training the mentor’s son, Ben, who turns out to be an expert assassin himself. What happens when Ben finds out that Jason had killed his father? Read the review to find out.
Business rating: 1.5 stars
Star cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster.
What’s Good: Ben Foster’s performance; the action sequences.
What’s Bad: The average script; the contrived climax.
Verdict: The Mechanic provides the thrills but falls short in the story department.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not? Watch it if you are a fan of well-executed but mindless action films; do not expect novelty or logic.
Millennium Films and Nu Image Entertainment’s The Mechanic is the story of an assassin and his unlikely relationship with the son of a man he has murdered.
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a ‘mechanic’– an ultra-assassin with the skill of eliminating targets without leaving any evidence. He does high-profile murders at the instruction of his mentor and good friend, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland). Harry, though bound to a wheel-chair, runs a profitable business, but complains about his son, Steve (Ben Foster), and Steve’s lack of responsibility. One day, Arthur is asked to eliminate Harry and is provided with evidence citing that Harry has gone rouge and has been siphoning off huge amounts of money. Arthur, the exacting and detached assassin that he is, goes through with the job. At Harry’s funeral, he meets Steve, who later requests Arthur to train him. Feeling guilty, Arthur agrees.
Trouble begins when Arthur discovers the aggressive side of Steve when the latter murders a target in an extremely brutal manner, instead of keeping it quiet. Moreover, Arthur also soon finds out that he had been cheated into killing Harry by the cartel boss, Dean (Tony Goldwyn). Repentant, Arthur keeps Steve with him, even allowing him to stay at his own house. Together, they execute a few more high-profile targets, and then Arthur decides to hit back at Dean. Soon, even Steve finds out that Arthur is his dad’s murderer. What happens next? Of the two revenge-seeking assassins, who wins the ultimate fight? The rest of the film answers these questions.
Story and Screenplay – The Mechanic Review
Lewis John Carlino’s story, about an assassin who operates with clockwork precision, is nothing new. In fact, many of Jason Statham’s earlier films, especially The Transporter series, are based on exactly the same premise. The writer tries to introduce conflict through the fact that the assassin and the son of a person he has murdered, are working together. However, the screenplay (Richard Wenk and Carlino) fails to capitalise on this. Instead, what works for the film are the well-shot action sequences, which abound in the latter half of the film. The climax, that is supposed to be a surprise, ends up being a rushed job and even evokes unnecessary laughter from the audience.
Star Performances – The Mechanic Review
Jason Statham does well. However, his performance is completely overshadowed by Ben Foster, who is excellent as the jumpy and unnerving trainee assassin. Jeff Chase acts well as Burke, the paedophile. Donald Sutherland and Tony Goldwyn provide able support. Mini Anden, as Arthur’s female companion, is okay.
Direction and Music – The Mechanic Review
Simon West’s direction is good. He maintains the pace of the film and keeps the latter half engaging but he is let down by the weak script. The central conflict and the climax, as mentioned, are not brought out well. Mark Isham’s background score goes with the theme of the film. Eric Schmidt’s camerawork is good. Editing, by T.G. Herrington and Todd E. Miller, is so-so. Technically, the film is good.
The Last Word
On the whole, The Mechanic is a botched action fare. Because of its weak script and the fact that there is really nothing in it for the lay audience, the film will fare poorly at the Indian box-office.