31 January 2011

The Mechanic

The Mechanic was originally a Charles Bronson starring vehicle with Jan-Michael Vincent made in 1972. That’s right, Airwolf himself opposite the gnarled Bronson. I watched it on Netflix through their streaming plan. It was a slow moving, low action, low budget movie. The opening twelve minutes had no dialog. That was amazing to me. You could not do that anymore. If you go longer than thirty seconds without people talking, I think they throw your script out the window; or they cast Nic Cage. Anyway, the original The Mechanic and the new The Mechanic follow very similar storylines and plots. Jason Statham is way cooler than Charles Bronson as Arthur Bishop, a hired assassin for a mysterious agency. I have a deep appreciation for Ben Foster and his acting. Though, for the role of Steve McKenna, I could go either for Foster, or for Stringfellow Hawke. But, I will focus on just the remake.

The Mechanic opens with Arthur Bishop killing a target, in a very sneaky way. When he gets back to his house, which he to access via boat, he is contacted by his handler Harry McKenna, played by Donald Sutherland. Bishop’s next target, Harry McKenna. He meets with the agency’s top dog, only to discover why the hit has been called on Harry. This leads Bishop to cross paths with Harry’s estranged son, Steve. Bishop decides to turn Steve’s anger and vengeance into the skills required to be a mechanic himself.

Steve does his first job alone, and it goes terribly wrong. Next they do a job together. A hit is put out on them by the agency. Why is the hit put out? Because Arthur uses Steve on a job meant for him. The agency does not like this. Along the way, they discover there was a conspiracy with Harry, and that it may not have been on the up and up. This only adds fuel to the fire. They decide to wage a war against the agency.

In an epic finale showdown/shootout/car chase of awesomeness, our heroes come toe to toe with the agency. In the aftermath, Steve discovers the truth about his father’s murder. Both the movies have the same ending, but not the same final scene.

The Mechanic joins the long list of enjoyable action movies starring Jason Statham. This one would rank in the top five for sure. It is just too bad that CBS Films has no idea what they are doing when it comes to marketing and getting the exposure necessary. There is no reason why this movie, with a modest budget of $40 million, should not turn an easy profit. Yet, Statham has really not carried a movie much farther than $35 million. I enjoyed this movie very much, and cannot wait to watch it again. I can do without seeing the original again. I am glad I saw it, but this one was so much better.

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