The Mechanic review

            Jason Statham seems incapable of playing anything other than one role, but he is the best at it in Hollywood right now. I suppose in the days of Charles Bronson, when the original film was released in the 70s, the same was somewhat true of other actors. Still, it is hard to believe that Statham’s leading role success began with a film in which he was unable to fight. His success came alongside that of crime film aficionado Guy Ritchie, though he never played the tough character in either Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. Now that is all that he can play, integrating fighting and/or driving in nearly every film he stars.

            The Mechanic is a perfect vehicle for Statham, somehow ultra violent in all of the right places, while also allowing for some surprisingly subdued and subtle moments as well. The Mechanic has the best of both worlds, both action packed and exciting, while also carefully thought out and executed. In other words, it feels like Crank meets The American, a kind of old-fashioned cinema paired with the MTV generation of editing in action sequences.

            The plot is fairly simple, and Statham’s character is even more simplistic. He is Arthur Bishop, a top assassin who is also actually quite sensitive and sentimental underneath his routine and rough exterior. Bishop is so sentimental that he even has doubts about his new assignment to assassinate his boss and mentor (Donald Sutherland). Soon his deceased friend Harry’s troubled son, Steve (Ben Foster) becomes determined to pick up Bishop’s line of work. The two work together despite Steve’s wild temper and the secrets between them.

            Foster is another actor who is quite capable of playing a killer and a madman convincingly. He’s has played roles more manic than this, but in films like The Messengers, Foster has shown he can play the other side of the spectrum as well. His range is impressive, and in this film it allows him to rest comfortably at the edge of madness in the role of Steve. Paired with Bishop’s well-laid plans, these two make an exciting team.

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