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"The Mechanic (2011)" Review

Jason Statham is in a bit of a rut lately. Sure, with few exceptions like The Bank Job where he can act a bit, he's mostly been recycling his signature persona to the point that I joke whenever he has a new movie coming out, I put on the Movie Announcer Voice and snarl, "Jason Statham is Jason Statham in Badass Bald Driver Guy Kicks Ass 2011!" What was the Death Race remake other than The Transporter in prison without a nice suit?

Continuing with remake parade is The Mechanic, originally a Charles Bronson flick. Statham is an elite assassin working for a shadowy international assassination company. (Are they in the Yellow Pages? Kids, ask your grandparents what those were.) When his friend and mentor, Donald Sutherland, is fingered for being a traitor to the firm, Statham is forced to kill him. When Sutherland's good-for-little son, Ben Foster, shows up looking for revenge and asks Statham to train him in the ways of the mechanic. Awkward.

While there are some hellacious fight scenes, the action and overall pace are flat. Director Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - the first one) has never been very good and infusing his movies with energy and he's still not good at it. Statham has a place out in the bayous near New Orleans that he accesses by boat but has cars and there's obvious road access, so why the boat? He's shown having a $2000 turntable to listen to his classical records, but is so alone his only female companionship is some Swedish hooker who has no butt.

While it's a step up from Transporter 3 - how did they manage to screw up the formula so badly there?!? - The Mechanic needs too much work to get it going to be worth seeking out. Watch some older Statham movies instead.

Score: 4/10. Catch it on cable.


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