Hear Me Out Before You Shut Me Out

The Mechanic: “Bland on action, but a decent alternative to Rom-Coms”

Jason Statham: Britain’s answer to Chuck Norris. He can star in any movie and make it be a showcase of just how badass he is. He can unload a ton of lead, perform killer martial arts moves, rob banks, drive cool cars, and just take matters in his own hands. Why? Because he’s a badass, or at least that’s what Hollywood is trying to make him. So can he provide a good alternative to the romantic comedy season for the single men out there? Can he give us a movie that isn’t a cheap excuse to take someone out and not feel alone? Let’s find out with The Mechanic.

Statham returns after giving us the expendable The Expendables to give us another action movie fresh with blood, murder, sex, and all things manly. He’s not doing this alone, though; he has Ben Foster with him to help it out. If only he actually could help make this movie exciting, because for an action movie, it really is bland. It leaves no impression of awesomeness like you would hope to find in an action movie because all the deaths aren’t exactly suspenseful or adrenaline-packed. There is very little exciting moments in this movie, so you’re just stuck with a plot that just really doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

Statham plays Arthur Bishop (although it really is just him being Jason Statham, but I was expecting that), who is a hit man that makes his kills seem like innocent accidents that leave no trace. He enjoys classical piano, tuning nice cars, and trying not to express much emotion. When he is tricked into killing a friend of his named Harry (Donald Sutherland), Bishop teams up with his friend’s son Steve (Ben Foster), who is angry and with the intention of killing the man who killed his father (irony.) and trains him to be as good of a hit man as he is to kill the guy who made him kill Harry. (Tony Goldwyn)

Jason Statham isn’t bad at what he does. He can really be the guy who knows what he’s doing and try to be the mentor that this movie calls for, but he shows really little to no emotion whatsoever. It’s like watching a wall that can actually make stuff explode. He does show some contempt for what he did, even if it is too subtle. Ben Foster’s character is just annoying but still even blander. His character has no depth besides the idea that he’s a bit of a freeloader that seeks vengeance and is a bit arrogant, like when he decides to disobey Statham’s orders by not giving his hit a roofie like he’s supposed to in the beginning of the hit. The villain, however, wasn’t given enough time to truly develop, so we are left with no impression whatsoever of him other than “he’s the bad guy”. So what? What was his true motive or connection to Harry?

While it is slow and bland for an action movie, I can’t say the movie was too bad. The hits were actually clever with some minor hiccups. One hit involved a choking to make it look like autoerotic asphyxiation, and it does seem a bit tangible. However, there were deaths that could be easily debunked, like a possible overdose that, if the plan went smoothly anyway, could be told through an autopsy that it wasn’t. It does get better at the end of the movie, after Steve finds out who really killed his father, and there were some scenes that were either funny or entertaining, such as when Statham almost sent someone’s daughter’s arm through the garbage disposal.

Bottom line: The Mechanic is pretty bland for an action movie, but it makes for an okay movie. Just okay. The action is minimal, the acting is minimal, the characters are underwritten and non-developing, and the plot seems to deviate for a while. Jason Statham isn’t bad for an action actor, and for a movie about a hit man it does try not to be messy with its hits and results with some clever kills and entertaining moments. If you’re looking for an alternative to the romantic comedy this season, then by all means; but it won’t be as awesome as you think it will be.

Final Rating: 5 out of 10 – Don’t Go

The Mechanic is distributed by CBS Films.

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