'The Mechanic' Review: It's All An Accident
The Mechanic tells the story of a hitman who specializes in making his murders look like accidents. He is asked to kill his boss and mentor, and once he accomplishes his mission, he has to take his boss’ son under his wing, without telling him that he’s responsible for his father’s murder.
This is a good premise, as I’ve not seen the original film, I can’t talk about its execution in the original film. In this one, however, it falls just short of its potential. Jason Statham does a good job in the lead role, as he usually does, he plays the tough guy but there are moments where we’re allowed to see a bit of humanity in him, and he delivers. Yes, it’s typical Statham role but there are moments of nuance where just with one expression you can see there is more than meets the eye to Arthur Bishop, the titular “mechanic.” Meanwhile, Ben Foster does well as the reckless Steve. Both bring a very believable mentor/apprentice chemistry, that despite their shady morals and work, we find ourselves rooting for them, and against the rogues gallery they have to beat.
The action scenes are fun, loud and brutal enough to suspend disbelief and keep us on the edge of our seats. There are times where they feel ridiculously excessive but thankfully these instances are brief and there aren’t many of them. The movie looks good with some moments of very atmospheric cinematography that enhances the drama or the action. We truly feel we’re on the road with these characters in different places around the world.
The biggest problem with the movie is that not much is made of the character drama between Arthur and Steve. It’s more of a vehicle to get them into action sequences than anything else. A better movie could’ve probably integrated both, taking us on a roller coaster that raised the stakes of their mentorship and Arthur’s work. It’s a shame because there are moments that show glimpses of that kind of movie, but they’re too fleeting. It leads to an ending that works but like the rest of the movie, falls short of its promise.
Still, The Mechanic is entertaining enough to not feel like a mere time-waster. If you really don’t have any choice of what to watch, you could do a whole lot worse. And as someone who has not seen the original, the remake stands on its own, with its flaws being a result of its own design and not by adaptation. In that regard, it succeeded by making me want to seek out the original.
Final Say: Watch It