The remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie The Mechanic actually looks rather entertaining, if stupid, which can basically sum up all of director Simon West’s films… well, except for The General’s Daughter, which was simply overwrought and unpleasant. It loosely follows the plot of the original — meticulous hitman takes on protégé, protégé is untrustworthy and eventually turns on him, you can guess where it goes from there. Bronson’s original, directed by Michael Wenner, was a tense, slow-burning, reflective film that was more character piece than action movie.
Simon West is not Michael Wenner. So it appears to be a bit more action-oriented, but it has two very impressive saving graces. Ben Foster, who is amazing in good movies (3:10 to Yuma) as well as bad ones (Hostage, 30 Days of Night). One of the many, many brain-numbing blunders in the Ratnerfucking of X-Men III was the complete underuse of Foster as Angel. The man has unbelievable talent. How he ended up in a Simon West movie is baffling, but it can only help.
The second saving grace is, of course, The Statham. The Statham is rapidly establishing himself as a shlock action star, a highly energetic and entertaining actor who’s got charisma to spare, but is content to just run around and jump kick people. And drive fast cars. And take off his shirt.
Frankly, I’m totally OK with that. Dwayne Johnson should take a few notes. Here’s the trailer. Discuss.
Casting Donald Sutherland doesn’t hurt, either.