Film Screening 17th August, 2011

Poster for The Mechanic

The Mechanic 

8:00 PM, 17th August, 2011

  • MA
  • 92 mins
  • 2011
  • Simon West
  • Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino
  • Jason Statham, ┬áBen Foster, Donald Sutherland

A 'mechanic' is an elite assassin with a unique talent for eliminating targets and making it look like natural causes, or an accident. It is a task that requires total detachment and professional perfection; and Arthur Bishop (Statham) is the best in the business.

At the funeral of his close friend and mentor Harry (Sutherland), who has died under mysterious circumstances, Arthur meets Harry's son, Steve (Foster). Steve wants the people responsible dead and is determined to learn Arthur's trade in order to exact his revenge. Although he normally works alone, Arthur recognises Steve's raw potential and agrees to take him on as an apprentice. As their deadly partnership develops however, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems quickly become problems themselves.

In the hands of seasoned director West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), the action scenes are loud, violent and gory, but also thoroughly gripping, due to extended sequences that demonstrate the detailed planning that goes into each of Arthur's contracts. Statham and Foster make a good team and manage to make their characters more than two-dimensional stereotypes so that, by the time they inevitably become targets of other mechanics, we're actually invested in their survival.

The Mechanic may be a remake of the 1972 film of the same name starring Charles Bronson, but it skilfully manages to distinguish itself as a standalone film, while tipping its hat to the gritty action films of the 70s.

Matthew Auckett