Friday, August 9, 2013

The Mechanic (2011)

Director: Simon West

Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden, James Logan, Eddie J. Fernandez, Joshua Bridgewater, John McConnell

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Someone has to fix the problems.

Plot: Assassin Arthur Bishop is an artist at his craft; he can make any job seem like natural causes or an accident if necessary. He has learned to stay detached. But when he is told to kill his friend, Harry, it's hard for him but he does it anyway. He makes it seem like a car jacking. Harry's son Steve so despondent over his father's death sets out to go after every carjacker he can find. But when he gets over his head, Arthur saves him. Arthur then decides to make Steve his apprentice. And while Steve is not as refined as Arthur, they continue with their collaboration. Arthur later learns that the circumstances surrounding Harry's hit is not what he was told.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.


I'm a HUGE fan of the original Charles Bronson THE MECHANIC (1972).  It's a great flick with a balls-out amazing ending. I also dig Jason Statham and Ben Foster so maybe this remake won't be so bad.  It's actually not that shabby.  I liked it but at no point was there anything in it that was done better than the original.  There's one thing that I hated about this new one and it's the ending.  In the original, when Bronson is poisoned it was tragic.  Vincent stood there, verbally smug, as Bronson goes down slowly and painfully.  You had time to soak it in that Bronson was a goner.  It's curtains...buckwheats.  There's an emotional bond that's been developed between Bronson and the audience so you really give a shit and it really hurts you (OK, at least it did for me) when this happens to him.  So when Vincent gets into the car and reads the note, it's a huge fucking emotional payoff for the audience.  In the remake, Statham's car blows up.  Done. Bam.  Finished in an instant.  All of that emotional bond that might have been there is gone without a thought.  But wait, it gets better.  A few minutes later we get to see that explosion happen all over again but from a different angle and we see that Statham rolls out of the way to safety just in the nick of time.  Foster still bites it like in the original but it's not nearly as powerful or as rewarding.  I'm not opposed to Statham surviving so much as it was the way that it was handled.  Now I just want to watch the '72 film again.  As a huge Bronson fan, that's not a bad thing, but it says something about a picture that pushes you back to the original and to stay away from ever watching the remake again.  I hope it didn't turn off anyone from seeing the original who hasn't seen it yet because that would be the real crime here.

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