I walked into this movie pumped. Jason Statham taking Ben Foster under his wing as an assassin and then teaming up to take on an assassin kingpin. Seriously, that sentence right there is like taking a Dodge Viper, putting a bunch of ridiculously hot women on it, dressing them in catholic school girl outfits and then being handed a camera. It just keeps getting better and better. (And yes, Google Image does have that picture.)
What I loved about this movie was that it was filmed like it is a blend of an action movie and a documentary. Simon West (Director) did not pull his punches. He looked at the life of an assassin and thought it would necessitate such and such, so let’s show it. Arthur (Jason Statham) is a mechanic. Only, instead of fixing cars, he fixes situations where people need to be removed. But he does even better than that. Instead of the person being murdered, he makes it look like an accident, or natural causes or frames someone else to take the fall.
So back to the realism I was talking about. A mechanic necessitates absolutely no one knowing who you are. Therefore you have no contact with people outside of doing your job. No contact means no relationships. So where do you get your intimacy? Arthur goes out and gets hookers. None of this is explained. You simply watch the hooker seduce Arthur. You never even know she is a hooker until he leaves the money on the table.
Another reason I love Statham in this movie is that he does not play his normal bad ass self. There is no malice in Arthur. He is simply doing a job. You rarely ever see emotion in him. The first act involves Arthur killing his mentor, Harry (Donald Sutherland). This is just a job. It doesn’t even look like it is hard. He just pulls the trigger and the job is done.
Killing Harry causes Arthur to run into Steve (Ben Foster), Harry’s son, at Harry’s grave site. Steve knows what Harry and Arthur did for a living and he wants in. However, where Arthur is in this business because he excels at it, Steve wants in as an outlet for his rage. He had rage at his father for turning away from him. Now he also has rage directed at the people who murdered his father. Arthur trains Steve in the importance of having a plan and being prepared for all situations.
Finally Steve gets to go on his first mission. These scenes alone make me beg for a Ben Foster action movie. It would have to be a crazy, rage-filled protagonist that Foster plays. But watching him in this encounter is worth the price of admission. Foster is presented to the target as a naive young boy for the target to become interested in. The target is a 300 pound brick shit house of a man who is a mechanic for a rival firm. He takes the bait and invites Steve out for a date. Arthur has planned a simple kill for Steve that involves poisoning his drink while out at a bar, making it look like a heart attack.
However, Steve wants to emulate his mentor and tries to mimic a kill that he has previously witnessed Arthur perpetrate. This leads to one of the most brutal fight scenes I have encountered in a long time. Steve is not a large man. But I fully believed every minute of this fight that seemed like it lasted forever. I even bought in that Steve could win with the way that he finally does. I so want to see Foster do a remake of Oldboy now. It would be so perfect it is scary to think of.
Eventually, Arthur learns that he killed Harry because of a double cross. This leads to Arthur and Steve going after the kingpin in a massive action piece that had me saying, out loud “Holy SHIT!!!” repeatedly. This is truly a very imaginative movie for how to kill a man and make sure that he is dead.
The Mechanic is fantastic. I want to sit here and write about every single scene and how much I loved each new inventive way to kill someone. And the best part is that even if I did, you would not be spoiled on the movie. Watching how Director West films all of this really makes you feel the murder. Go see this movie.
What did you think of The Mechanic? Let me know in the comments below.