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84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Although this is a remake of the 1970's film by the same name The Mechanic which starred Charles Bronson and Jan Michael Vincent, there are only a few similarities between the two and a lot more differences. This movie has a lot more special effects and action sequences, but seems to lack considerably in the character development of Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) and Steve McKenna (Ben Foster) and the relationship between the two men. I was also a bit disappointed in the instructional and training period that should have taken place between the master hitman and his protege. I felt that this should have been developed more than it was, and what was shown seemed to be lacking in substance.

The plot runs pretty much the same as the original, but there are some notable difference, which I won't go into here so as not to ruin the movie for those of you who still haven't seen it yet. However, for those of you who have watched the original pay particular attention to the end of the film, where things aren't always what they seem.

Statham did a pretty good job reprising Charles Bronson's role of Arthur Bishop. However, I really couldn't believe Foster's portrayal of his character as much. I am not quite sure why, as I think Foster is a fine actor, but his performance just didn't seem to have the same ring to it as Jan Michael Vincent had in the original version. And although Donald Sutherland has a small part in this film, he played his role just fine.

One thing that I did really like in this film was the way the portrayed the various gunfight scenes with empty handed combat skills. Very believable and some of it would actually be very effective. This made the movie much more enjoyable for those of us that are tired of all the Hollywood fight scenes that have no basis in reality.

One particular plot point that I found very disturbing in the movie, which I won't detail here for fear of having a spoiler, but I will generalize in the fact that for Bishop to be a master hitman, he ends up making a very crucial error in judgment concerning evidence of a previous hit that ends up causing him difficulties in the end. In a nutshell, why would you go through all the trouble to commit a perfect murder and then take a picture of you with the dead body and then leave it lying around for someone to find. Not very smart!

Overall I think this is a movie that is worth seeing, but for all of us Charles Bronson fans out there, you just can't beat the original!

Shawn Kovacich
Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
I was not familiar with the original Charles Bronson film The Mechanic from 1972, but that may have actually been to my benefit with this movie. The Mechanic is definately for those who enjoy hard-hitting action films with a lot of blood that has a lot of vulgarities than you can count with a small bit of nudity along the way. The Mechanic definitely falls into the awesome category in my book. Jason Statham is back in top form with this one since it was able to deliver a pretty good story to compliment Statham's fight sequences that he is famous for. Despite the fact that the dialogue is filled with F-bombs left and right, it fit the overall tone of the film very well so it isn't too distacting. Ben Foster wasn't disappointing either, Foster is one of those good talents in his thirties that a lot of people overlook as having potential. Donald Sutherland makes a few memorable scenes but isn't really a factor in the movie besides being the main story. The Mechanic is actually really entertaining and is very much the definition of a guy film but my wife did put up with it. It's packed with explosions, bloody headshots, broken limbs, and even a hefty and destructive car chase sequence. Overall, The Mechanic is dark, gritty, bloody, and just awesome overall.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I was hoping for more on the supplement angle and picture quality for being a Sony title (and part of a known franchise now) but this will have to do.

The story follows an elite mechanic/hitman as he weaves through deception and retribution while mentoring the son (played excellently by Foster) of his former friend and boss (Sutherland). Foster was the reason I watched this and have been a fan of his since 11:14; itself an overlooked but good film. Above all of the usual Statham faces, inept bad guys, great stunts and token eye candy, Foster actually carries this film for me and proves himself again.

The picture quality was average at times, with a great deal of exteriors having that grainy look, but other times the clarity was above par. The DTS is as expected from Sony and it rocks nicely with the various explosions and gunfights. I was disappointed with the lack of extras, but they include:

* movieIQ. The standard IMDB-on-your-screen-while-watching. The best trivia was in the making-of.
* Alternate opening, deleted scenes, 10:46 minutes. The alternate opening made no sense but the deleted scenes definitely removed some character development for the Sutherland/Statham friendship. The long scene of Foster/Statham at his truck towards the beginning has nothing different except that they had to muddy the rear-view mirror (in the film) because it showed the entire crew accidentally.
* Making of, 7:47 minutes. Too short, but still had some decent background on filming, including Foster's injury which then makes sense (what I thought before seeing this was a significant writing error) as to why they filmed Foster having to kill left-handed; especially since he says he is not a lefty in the film. Good stunt info also.

Region coded A, English and Spanish subs only. Try not to compare this to the original, or against other Statham action pieces, and you might get some decent entertainment out of it. 3.5 for the film and sound, .5 for the supplements.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 4, 2011
Lacking originality and surprise, The Mechanic is nonetheless enjoyable for the action sequences alone. Awards it will not win, and there is quite a bit for a viewer to dislike, but the fast pace keeps the parts shiny despite the lack of polish.

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a hitman who does everything perfectly, lives in a secluded multimillion dollar house, and gets his jobs via a hitman's version of Craigslist. Not quite as hyper or entertaining as his roles in the Crank movies, Statham nonetheless toes the brooding, meticulous line of someone in that line of work. It's believable, I suppose. His mentor and confidant Harry Foster (Donald Sutherland) worries less about the next target than he does his own son Steve (Ben Foster), an aimless troublemaker itching to find his niche. As the assassination business goes, complications lead to Harry fostering a relationship with Steve, who wants to emulate the Spy vs. Spy routines of which his father spoke so highly. Probably a bad idea since Steve is a drunk.

While I probably liked this movie more than most, there were numerous problems that will relegate this film to a future in the Walmart $5 bin. First and foremost, the tension in the action is great, and there are several white-knuckle scenes, but if I had a nickel for every millisecond cut I would have been able to watch several better movies the night I watched this. That is my new pet peeve. The cuts during several spots were so fast they were nearly subliminal. It's a shame, too, because the gunplay and stunt-work in the movie are superb. The headshots fly through with force and gusto; someone really wanted to ensure there was no doubt with a quite a few deaths.

Regarding the story and the plot, that's clearly not the point of this movie. Well, maybe it is, but originality surely isn't. I don't mind brainless movies - happens to be one of my favorite genres - but please make at least one aspect of the movie unpredictable. This may as well have been a silent film with a caption that read, "Hitman goes through training," before showing Statham and Foster in their machine gun montage. Speaking of that, you'd think there would be more to being an elite hitman than a few random medical books and assorted time in the backyard range.

The moment that ruined the movie for me, however, was Ben Foster's ridiculous reenactment of Kevin Bacon's infamous "so mad I have to dance" scene from Footloose. Thankfully there was less angst and grand mal seizure in Foster's rendition.

I expected much more for cast like this remaking of such a good movie. Director Simon West continues to be hit-or-miss.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2011
I knew this was going to be a good movie when Jason Statham got naked within the first 5 minutes.

I saw this movie after a really rough day at work, so I zoned out during some of the dialogue in the beginning and missed some plot explanations. Luckily, there wasn't much dialogue after that and a lot of Jason Statham kicking ass so it was still fully enjoyable. This is such a dude movie - violence, blood, sex, explosions - and I loved every minute of it. The greatest thing about this movie is that there's no romantic relationship getting in the way. No pretty girl to distract or reform Arthur Bishop - he's a badass and remains a badass without any unnecessary complications.

And can I just say that I absolutely love a badass who listens to classical music and is extremely organized and methodical. Who wears soft grey knits.

Sadly, I'm realizing that I've become quite squeamish in my old age. I used to be a longtime lover of horror flicks, the gorier the better. Now I find myself cringing and shutting my eyes with just the anticipation of possible bloodshed. Though I don't know what kind of person who wouldn't cringe at the sight of a harpoon being stabbed through someone's calf.

Also, I'm pretty sure that this is what Jason Statham actually does in real life.

This movie is fun and exciting to watch, with lots of action and cool fight scenes. This review is completely erratic and I apologize - Jason Statham always makes me lose my bearings. Go see this movie!

[...]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
This one's a hit here! This had some great action; thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely a keeper. There are so many new movies that are such a waste of money. It's nice to finally buy one that is worth watching again and again.
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36 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2011
I don't understand hollywoods deal with remaking every movie they can think of. The original was fine and this movie has very little to do with the original. An assassin starts training a kid. That's about all they have in common. That's what I don't get, why even bother calling it a remake. Just make a new movie.

The original seemed to focus more on the details of the hit while this movie just focused on the death scene for the most part. And god forbid that every movie not end with a happy ending. Sometimes the good guy/main character dies, it keeps things interesting. Which is one of the things that made the original better.

It's worth the $1 rent but not worth buying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There is something akin to a guilty pleasure to watch bad guys get knocked off - DEXTER supplies that on television and now Jason Statham plays it on the screen. Yes, hit men or assassins or mechanics have been the subject matter of many films, but there is something about the manner in which the ultra virile yet heart of gold Arthur is brought to life by Statham that makes us root for his every move.

John Lewis Carlino wrote the story and the screenplay for both this (with Richard Wenk) and the original 1972 version of THE MECHANIC and the 40 intervening years have not change the end results much. It still is a film with spiky dialogue and a good mixture of watching bad guys gradually get their deserts. Now it is Arthur (Jason Statham) who is the flawless, perfectionist, leave-no-mess-behind hit man that everyone in the assassination business wants to hire. His methods - the opening sequence as Arthur kills drug cartel leader Jorge Lara (James Logan) is as imaginative as actions such as these come - are impeccable. He is called upon to off an old colleague Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland) which is a feat in and of itself, but soon after he meets up with McKenna's wild son Steve (Ben Foster) and gradually teaches the lost Steve the role of a mechanic. From then on it is fireworks with Arthur and Steve fulfilling jobs assigned to them by the smarmy Dean (Tony Goldman), with Steve finally taking on a job by himself - killing the bulky 6'7" Burke (Jeff Chase) during an assignation attempt. But things change when Steve realizes the relationship between his father's death and his new 'partner' and this leads to a finely choreographed surprise ending. Simon West knows how to stage action scenes and how to manipulate CGI realistically, and he allows his characters to be sidetracked by worthy wenches just to keep it real. Mark Isham delivers his usual powerpunch musical score (with frequent help from Schubert's Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major - Arthur's tranquilizer. For those who like action films with strong lead characters this is a movie that will entertain well. Grady Harp, May 11
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
***Spoiler Alert***

This remake of the classic version from 1972 with Charles Bronson had some things right, but overall it really falls short of even competing with the original, let alone besting it.

The 1972 film had a sort of detached coolness and a more visceral grittiness. These were professionals who did not get emotionally involved with the assignment. Jan-Michael Vincent's "Steve" wanted to prove he had what it took to be at, what he perceived, an elite level. Also there was a late 60s, early 70s counter-culture subtext to his motivation. And that was really interesting. Whereas the analog in this remake comes off more as a listless wanderer who has no clear idea what he wants to do, but he thinks it would be cool to kill people and he is emotionally overcome by the revenge aspect.

Another fault I found was in the actual killings themselves. There was no detachment and precision. It was just raw death by torture in many cases. Sloppily fighting with the target, or shooting your way out of after a botched hit. Too much of the tired, formulaic "Hollywood modern action" was written and you lose all the nuance, the art of the kills which these mechanics would care about (even perhaps more than the monetary reward).

Hollywood films these days tend to assume the average movie viewer is a moron, so they try to connect as many dots for us as possible. This is patronizing and downright offensive. The match up between the old and new Bishop illustrates this glaringly. Bronson's Bishop was about control, he was in supreme control and his downfall was letting his emotion hinder that control. Everything he did was calculated. And this was no brute, he was a cultured assassin. I felt that the writers tried to convey this with Statham's Bishop but it came across very hammy (the numerous shots of his record player) and forced. Also time and again in this remake we saw a Bishop that seemed to be driven by almost pure emotion, a reactive Bishop who was never in control except marginally in the opening hit.

This remake emphasized over and over the revenge motif and I think it was a mistake having Bishop go after the Company. This was never even a possibility in the original film and I like that because it established a boundary that even Bishop had to recognize. It's the cheesy desire in Hollywood action films for the main character(s) to always get retributive justice by their own hands. I see this time and again these days and it gets very tiresome.

This remake shows that a vastly bigger budget does not equate with better film making.

Regarding pacing the remake seemed a bit too fast, however that wasn't surprising.

I am torn regarding the ending. On one hand I like the fact that Bishop bested Steve and lived to see another day in this remake. However philosophically I must give a slight edge to the original film in which both of them die because the narrative is stark: in this business of death there is no clear winner. I think even the first film should have explored some of the moral issues a bit deeper and may even had a redemptive dynamic, but that would be clearly a different sort of film.

So to sum up, this remake was enjoyable as a modern action film, but if you want a bit more depth and nuance see the original!
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