Solid action flick is solid.
REVIEW: THE MECHANIC
Love your review, Renn.
I think that "Stoic Workingclass" image Statham has makes it easy for audiences to identify with him. On the other hand, Statham has never reached Arnold/Sly levels of popularity. He's a solid Action hero but a little bland in some ways.
Heh, now I'm picturing a middle aged Statham who wants to escape his "Action Guy" box (I'm thinking he just finished work on The Transporter 7, but his heart isn't really in it anymore, he feels the franchise is just repeating itself at this point and it's hurting the integrity of the first three movies), and he wants to be taken seriously, so he starts writing/producing/directing heart wrenching Oscar bait weepies or something.
It figures. The thing about the original movie is that the "guilt" aspect to the friendship that you mention is clearer, since
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Arthur knows Steve is going to kill him, and basically allows it to happen (but of course, cannot resist sending him a final fuck you from the grave, this giving us one of the classic 70s action movie endings)
Yeah, that original ending is a great capper to a relentlessly nihilistic movie. I recall the Get Carter remake also pussied out of the great ending. So annoying.
FYI party people, the original Bronson film is available on Netflix Instant. Not a masterpiece, but a dandy of a b-movie. It's worth popping on if only for the opening sequence, which is a lovely exercise in 70's slowburn action. Not tons of action overall but it is a dramatically more complex film than the remake.
THE MECHANIC was decent. The action scenes, stunts and violent moments are solid. However, the movie has no balls when it comes to the main character. It's another movie where a Hitman only kills scumbags and/or perverts. There's a moment near the end when you think Statham has finally done something really despicable, but instead you get a lame FAKE OUT.
This is also another movie where Statham is way too stone-faced and stoic. He barely has a personality. I liked Ben Foster's character more. "I'm not a lefty." He's a wayward punk, but at least he has a personality. You feel sorry for him at certain points in the film. That's why the ending is probably the only ballsy moment in the film. I don't know if that was the filmmaker's intention, though.
Edited by wadew1 - 2/20/11 at 4:00pm
I liked it. The brutality in Fosters fight with the other hitman was great. And some of the kills during the assault on the cult leader were just spectacular.
But yeah the ending was a total cop out...the only thing missing was the hooker and her dog waiting for him in the 2nd truck.
speaking of the hooker...that was some Grade A nudity.
I enjoyed it well enough. I do think Statham ought to play an actual killer robot in something. Perhaps they can cast him in the West World remake. This was pretty much in line with his other films. Less fancy driving than the Transporters. Less insanity than the Cranks. Fun action, stupid plot. It was pretty obvious ol' Statham would pull through at the end. I don't know if we're supposed to believe he knew what was going to happen and took certain steps before they left, or if Ben Foster took his sweet ass time getting back, letting Arthur set up his ludicrous "if he touches my record player or car i'll get him good" plan.
The sex scene caught me totally off guard. That's some grade-A fuckin' right there.
I hope Donald Sutherland is taking good care of himself, I never tire of seeing his mug onscreen.
Fully intend to catch the Bronson version sometime this week. Enjoyed this for its vapidness up until the finale. What a cop out! Even action movies have themes and things that have to happen because of things that happened before, dammit. The wrong guy died. By the sounds of it, the original handled it better...?
And I agree that it would be nice to see a hitman do precisely what a hitman is supposed to do: kill people, ANY PEOPLE, for money. I guess you can't sympathize with a guy who murders someone's neighbor for having a bad hedge, though.
That apparently caught the family behind me off guard as well, the family with the three kids, none older than ten. People who randomly choose a film on arrival and then complain about the content as if they were tricked, completely fucking confound me.
By the by, what a completely wasted potential subplot. With a film that has as little going on in its head as The Mechanic, expanding her role into something useful could have proven interesting. As it stands, the role could easily be summed up as "nice hooker who gets boned and gifted a chihuahua".
The Mechanic is average in every way. When your lead character is as unegaging as Statham is here, you can throw as many tits, bullets, and blood at the screen as you want, and you'll still wind up having to check the film's pulse. Statham cannot play subtle and subdued in an interesting way. He is not that capable an actor, he does not have that skill set. His Bishop character is a snooze, and the almost effortlessly intense Ben Foster, practically erases Statham from the screen whenever they share a scene, which mercifully, is often. I almost felt embarrassed for Statham, watching Foster takes his ass to acting school throughout the film's running time. There's a real tactile sense to his performance and it's more than The Mechanic deserves. In a proper world, Ben Foster would be a star.
Donald Sutherland is good in a "I could do with the extra weed money" role. He's Donald Sutherland, he can do this shit in his sleep.
Aside from West's handling of the whole night out with the gay hitman, which was one of the few times I felt the film had my full attention (for a couple of reasons) and the cult leader hit, I was generally disinterested in his direction, and felt that he did nothing to elevate the material, which is hindered out the gate with a flat script and a miscast leading man.
This is a nothing film.
Saw it this weekend and I am now convinced that Jason Statham is the Steven Seagal for a new generation. Zero personality, bad hair, plays the same troubled "loner-types", and apparently never met a crowd of men his size whose asses he couldn't kick without even breaking a sweat. Granted Statham doesn't appear to spend the majority of his day at the salad bar, but he still basically makes the same movie over and over again ( The Bank Job possibly being the lone expception).
Statham's film did interest me once, but now he's been reduced to playing the same character on film with a recycled plot. The Mechanic was not much better than The Transporter films or the Crank ones. It would appear that Staham is contempt to what he has become: Steven Seagal 2.0.
Saw it this weekend and I am now convinced that Jason Statham is the Steven Seagal for a new generation. Zero personality, bad hair, plays the same troubled "loner-types", and apparently never met a crowd of men his size whose asses he couldn't kick without even breaking a sweat.
Lock, Stock, Snatch, Cellular, Mean Machine, The Italian Job, and Chaos would like a word with you.
As I was watching MECHANIC, I thought to myself that he needs to find more of those types of previously aforementioned roles, because between EXPENDABLESA, BLITZ and this, his standard "loner/hard ass" schtick has begun to wear thin, and is IMHO simply not compelling enough on its own to warrant continued attention on my part when it comes to his movies
PS I saw the first two TRANSPORTER films, and maybe the third... Not sure... But as you can clearly tell they didn't make a big impression. Some OK stunt work and fight choreography does not automatically make a character compelling
* slang from FIFTH ELEMENT I've decided to start using - just wanted to be clear what I meant
I thought Statham showed a bit of dramatic range in Blitz, recently, but they didn't give him much to do, and the movie felt like more of an ensemble.
As for this, I felt like it was good enough that I had to take back some of the bad things I've said about Simon West. Especially considering Tony Goldwyn's death scene.
Ehh parts were actually edgy and well done and if they had kept the original ending I would have considered it a success. Also as much as I loved the gay hitman fight scene the stuff leading up to it was suspect. Part of the reason we are supposed to hate him was because he wanted to fuck Ben Foster? Dude is in his late 20's and they make him seem like a pedophile. Sure he was creepy but I imagine at that age you can tell when a dude is trying to fuck you.
Is it really all Statham's fault? When's the last time an action movie had a hero who was a normal guy (A cop, or someone who WAS in the army) trying to live a normal life, with a wife, friends, etc, when circumstances put him in the shit?
THE BANK JOB?