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4.2 out of 5 stars226
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1972's Charles Bronson thriller The Mechanic aka Killer of Killers, was that extreme rarity, a terrific Michael Winner movie, and one that tapped into the paranoid and morally skewed mood of its day with its tale of a mob hitman taking on an equally sociopathic apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) who wants to take his crown as the best in the business. Simon West's 2011 remake shares the same original title, The Mechanic, but despite original screenwriter Lewis John Carlino sharing a co-writing credit and being produced by the sons of the original's co-producers only shares its basic premise and part of its nihilistic ending. This time Jason Statham is the top hitman working for a faceless corporation that may or may not be government-related who finds himself taking best friend Donald Sutherland's screwed-up son Ben Foster under his wing and trying to teach him the tricks of his trade, with increasingly messy results. This time the tension is not the unspoken deadly competitiveness between the two killers but whether Foster will find out just why Statham's guilt has driven him to take on such a hopeless case who screws up every assignment by not paying attention to any of his advice and who is painting a target on his back with every spectacular near failure.

Unfortunately, while the motive for betrayal may look stronger on paper, on screen it plays off more routine because there's never a hint that these two may be equally matched, with the younger man's powers growing as the elder's wane. Although the competitive element is all but dropped in favour of a standard conspiracy subplot so obvious it just makes Statham look gullible, it's a foregone conclusion who is going to be the winner here, leaving it more dependent on the amped up action scenes. Sadly these never have quite enough impact because, although Statham did most of his own stunt work, between the camerawork keeping the shots very tight and the editing threatening to go into overdrive at times, it doesn't show that much. Statham's no Bronson but he's more than adequate in a role that never strays from his comfort zone (although there are hints of ruthlessness with innocent bystanders, he only hurts people who deserve it), Foster gives his part more than it deserves and Sutherland provides good old school professionalism in his brief role, but it never rises above a professionally put together formulaic timewaster. And while producers Millennium films must be getting great tax breaks in Louisiana with this and Herzog's Bad Lieutenant, someone really should tell them that it doubles for South America in the opening scenes about as convincingly as Milton Keynes doubled for Metropolis in Superman IV.

Momentum's Blu-ray only boasts an average transfer, with some digital (as opposed to film) grain apparent in some shots and not much more detail than you'd expect on DVD, but can generally be found at a cheap enough price. Extras are fairly perfunctory: a few deleted and alternate scenes, spoiler-heavy trailer and a seven-minute puff piece featurette on the stunts.
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on 14 March 2011
'The Mechanic' is an action-thriller film, which is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name that starred Charles Bronson in the lead. The remake released in 2011 to negative reviews, however managed to become a moderate success at the box-office.

The story centres around Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), a professional assassin who starts to mentor an apprentice (Ben Foster) who is related to one of his victims.

The movie has an interesting start and progresses at a fast pace with good action set-pieces. There are a few subtle twists throughout and also a couple in the climax.

The flaws are the predictable storyline, lifeless characters, pivotal scenes that are a bit rushed and a number of pointless/sleazy scenes.

Statham performs his trademark role in his normal way, nothing new. He's still a likeable action hero though. I'm not a fan of Ben Foster's but he performs well. Both actors share most of the screen time in the movie together, unfortunately there is no chemistry between them. Donald Sutherland is competent in a brief role. Tony Goldwyn is unconvincing.

The direction provided by Simon West is just about average only due to the exciting action choreography. The editing is abrupt and quite a high movie budget (about $40,000,000) seems to have been wasted as the money isn't justified on-screen.

The background music score by Mark Isham is classy and a highlight of the movie.

The remake fails to match the originals quality but still is watchable.

'The Mechanic', The Problem and The Fix are all straight-forward in the film. The only thing that's missing is a straight-forward audience. In the end, no harm watching this time-pass actioner and completing the job.
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on 20 April 2011
Statham fans will know what to expect and will not be disappointed.

Guess what, he's a top assasin - particularly good at faking accidental deaths. As hard and wiley as they come.

Without giving anything away he ends up focusing his vast killing aptitude on a revenge mission.

It's enjoyable stuff if you're in the mood and is one of his better movies.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 June 2013
Statham delivers his mean and moody best in this slick actioner from Simon West Stolen [DVD]. As the hit man of the title he does jobs around the globe for a shadowy organisation. The opening montage sees Arthur Bishop (Statham) complete a well staged hit which sets the scene for things to come. A further job sees him taking on a protegee who, unbeknown to Bishop, has some serious character flaws and will soon bear a dangerous grudge. He also has to deal with some doublecrossing by his paymasters. Simon West is a dependable director who delivers journeyman thrills which entertain but rarely stretch the genre. Having said that, there are some explosive engagements in this deftly handled remake and the ending is particularly well crafted.
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on 28 August 2013
If you like Jason Statham films this will not disappoint. Containing all the crazy action scenes you would expect and executed with the gusto you expect from Statham, this ticks most boxes.

An assassin is tasked with killing his own mentor before finding out there is more going on behind the scenes. Once the story kicks in the action shifts up a gear and becomes slicker and more inventive. Taking on his deceased mentor's son, Bishop embarks on a dangerous adventure.

Everything is straight forward and pretty predictable. But in its on way this benefits the film. It doesn't tire and whips along at such a rate that the plot holes and logic are papered over.

The action is great fun and is pleasingly gory in places. Never one to pull punches Statham jumps in whole heartedly. His acting chops are not stretched here rather utilised to their most comfortable.

There is a lot of fun to be had here but ultimately it is forgettable.
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on 17 February 2013
This was one of four Jason Statham films that I ordered and the first one I watched and it is typical Statham and that means a great film...if you like him ofcourse! It's a fast moving film, not a bad story, lots of action, lots of killing I enjoyed it. I thought Ben Foster was good, but can't think of anything he'd been in before but he was good in this. So if you are into watching 'Mr Cool' Statham, then you will love this.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 June 2015
"The Mechanic" features Jason Statham doing what he does best, and better than most. Statham is Bishop, an icily efficient professional hitman for a very shady "company", who one day is given a contract that he REALLY doesn't want to fulfil...
Statham is ideally suited to this kind of hard as nails role, and he is ably supported by Ben Foster as his wayward young sidekick. Donald Sutherland is also excellent in a cameo role as Bishop's mentor. It's a good story, and as usual with Statham, there are some excellently staged action sequences. Ultimately however, it's all a bit mechanical (no pun intended) and heartless.
Apparently there's a sequel due in 2016, with a cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh. It'll be interesting to see where they go with this format.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 September 2013
Jason Stratham plays a stone cold hit man. The opening scene had me sold with an unusual assassination, although I don't know why a millionaire would keep his indoor swimming pool water so dark, someone could hide on the bottom. Jason has two friends in the world. One is a prostitute who he pays to be his friend (sex, nudity). And the other is the Donald Sutherland who gives him his assignments. His next assignment is to kill Donald Sutherland, which he does. Against anyone's best judgment, he then takes on Donald Sutherland's loose cannon son as an apprentice.

The movie moves along as separate unconnected killing scenes, then comes together at the end with the expected twist and results. It also had a "Bourne" telephone scene, which is something I always enjoy.

Good action flick. It never drags. Soundtrack was okay, but really needed to be kicked up a notch. The movie doesn't build any background or character, which is why it moves. Better than any film which starred Steven Seagal.
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on 21 May 2011
Definitely a try before you buy this one.

Premise of the story is that it's a remake of the earlier Charles Bronson version with Jason Statham as the seasoned hitman who takes under his wing the young adult son of his mentor, out for vengeance. Unfortunately there's very little chemistry from the main characters, Statham seems to become more wooden with each film - zero humour, i.e, none of the wit of Frank in the Transporter films or the manic OTT of Chelios in Crank and Crank 2. Ben Foster is just scary, I'm sure he's a totally different guy out of character and he was okay in Pandorum, but here he just creeps me out. He is not the guy you'd want to share a room or prison cell with. It's also a tad misogynistic with the few female characters being relegated to hookers or bar pick ups.

There's violence aplenty and with people getting squished under cars or being hurled off buildings it's actually something of a surprise this got a 15 certificate.

The plot such as it is meanders along but it's hard to take much interest in what was happening. Hitman did this so much better and at least with a female sidekick avoiding some of the slight homo-erotic overtones this film projects.

The final twist can be seen a mile off and if you've watched the whole film it's not hard to think of a much better surprise ending they could have come up with (to say more would give it away, I guess).

Anyhow rental, yes, but only die hard Statham or Foster fans will probably want to buy this.
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on 8 July 2015
Arthur Bishop is an artist at his craft; he can make any job seem like natural causes or an accident if necessary. He has learnt to stay detached.

But when he is told to kill his friend, Harry, it's hard for him but he does it anyway. He makes it seem like a car jacking.

Harry's son Steve so despondent over his father's death sets out to go after every carjacker he can find. But when he gets over his head, Arthur saves him.

Arthur then decides to make Steve his apprentice. And while Steve is not as refined as Arthur, they continue with their collaboration....

if you've seen the original, and know how great that film was, for one very good reason, you will disappointed with this one, as Hollywood has made it more endearing for action fans and franchise fans alike.

But for what it is, it's not a bad film, just not very exciting to be fair. Statham is Statham and does very little apart from dust records and read on his laptop, very light on the action in this one he is.

Foster is doing loose cannon role he has seem to have done in a few of his films since Alpha Dog, and while he is good, he soon starts to grate and you wish Statham would just b!tch slap him.

There are a couple of good scenes, Fosters first whack on another mechanic is good, but is highly reminiscent of the Russian scene from the Punisher, and the first death is quite inventive too.

But after it finished, i thought to my self, is that it? It had no real emotion to it, even when Arthur killed his friend, it reminded me of what Dr Evil said of losing Mini Me ' i'll be inconsolable...for about ten minutes'.

Pointless stuff, but worth the one watch.
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