Movie Review: The Mechanic (2011)

I love Jason Statham, you love Jason Statham, everybody loves Jason Statham. And if anyone says that he/she doesn’t like it, then he/she is either lying or has no soul. Dude’s awesome.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Mechanic”.

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a mechanic. No, he doesn’t fix cars, he kills people for a living. Not sure why they couldn’t just call it a hitman, but that is a discussion for a different day. Anyhow, one day he is approached by a young man (Ben Foster) who wants to to what Bishop does. So Bishop takes this young man under his wing, teaching him the ways of the mechanic hitman. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? I wouldn’t call it bad, just really messy. My main problem with it is that it switches tones all over the place, making it feel very inconsistent. In one scene we have our fun Statham action-thriller, and in the next it has a more somber tone, and this tonal shift happens several times throughout the movie, making it feel very messy. The initial setup in the plot is actually quite interesting, and it does take a few interesting turns at times. So overall it is… fine, just really messy.

The characters in this range from interesting to meh. Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop is exactly how you’d imagine him, stoic and serious, but that is also what Statham does best, and he’s really good in the role. Ben Foster as Statham’s protégé, Steve, isn’t let loose as much as he usually is in movies. I’m not holding it against the movie, just saying it. His character is actually kind of interesting for reasons I will not get into here, but let’s just say that he has some okay motivation behind him. And Foster is really good in the role. Tony Goldwyn pops up a couple times in the movie as what I’d call Statham’s employer, and he’s good in the role… bland character, fine performance. Donald Sutherland shows up briefly too, and he’s good… he’s always good. So yeah, overall it’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Isham and I think he did a good job with it. Sure, there’s nothing particularly original or memorable with what he composed, but it is overall well composed and it worked for the movie quite well. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used in throughout and they’re used pretty well.

This movie was directed by Simon West, a man who I know for two things: Dumb action and… no, wait, that’s about it. And I think he did a pretty good job here. His directing for the most part flows fine and and overall looks pretty good. In some of the action scenes there is a bit of shaky-cam, but not enough to completely ruin it for me. But for the most part the action works and is pretty enjoyable. And while not a major problem, I still have to mention that the blood effects at times looked really bad. It wasn’t often that I spotted it, but when I did… yikes.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 52% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Mechanic” isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either. It has an okay plot, okay characters, really good performances, pretty good music, and good directing. However, it is of course brought down by the messy plot, lack of interesting characters, and occasional shaky-cam. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Mechanic” is a 7,34/10. While flawed as hell, I’d still say that it’s worth renting.

My review of “The Mechanic” is now completed.

Well, at least we now know that Ben Foster can rock a flat cap…

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