...Yeah, I know missed another day. To be fair, I did warn you this would happen. I did end up seeing The Mechanic yesterday but two things first: SJ properly identified the banner quote as coming from the home-wrecking Mr. and Mrs. Smith, so choose your crappy Paint picture in the comments! Nextly, to my Magnificent Seven participating in Guest Week, the deadline is approaching! The line-up will be from Feb. 13-19, so let me know in the comments what day you want. It's first come, first serve and Simon claimed day 7 ages ago, so go from there.
Ok, now we can continue.
So, I know nothing of the Charles Bronson movie this is based on (though because it's Charles Bronson, I'm sure it was deeply manly and such). When I saw the trailer I thought it looked like a big, dumb, fun action movie typical of Jason "Ab-tastic" Statham. And if there is one thing I enjoy, it's listening to British accents spout one-liners while things blow up (which would go a long way in explaining my love for the James Bond series). Anyway, that's what I thought I was in for.
No such luck.
The Mechanic tells the broody story of Arthur Bishop, a dude who is very good at killing people. He lives alone out on some island in New Orleans. Here is what we know about Arthur:
1. He is a hitman
2. He has very little in the way of emotion
3. He likes to overpay hookers
4. He also enjoys classical music
5. ...Did I already use hitman?
We know virtually nothing about Bishop, which makes it kind of difficult to care what he does. We do learn that he is rather fond of his wheelchair-bound murder-mentor Harry, played by Donald Sutherland, who makes the most of the few scenes he is in. But really, even that doesn't mean much, because when the boss tells him Harry needs to die, the man hardly bats eyelid.
Boss: "Hey so, I need you to kill your friend/confidante/father figure/only guy we see you ever interacting positively with who is not a hooker"
Boss: "I know this is difficult for you to-wait, did you just say 'kay'?"
Boss: "But Harry is the only human influence in your life except for Drunk Dock Dude You Occasionally Chat With. This is a decision that will haunt you the rest of your life!"
Bishop: "Yeah, I'm good with it"
And that's the end of Harry. Except we learn he left some baggage behind in the form of Steven, his volatile son played by Ben Foster, continuing his "really intense guys who are more than a little crazy" trend. Steven is a violent screw-up who Bishop, apparently feeling remorse because it is convenient to the plot, takes Steven under his wing, making the wise decision to teach the budding little sociopath how to channel his grief into cold-blooded murder.
If you're wondering whether or not Steven figures out that Bishop killed his dad, or if there was something fishy about why Harry needed murdering and if Bishop ever figures this out and comes out for REVENGE, well duh. It's still your standard action movie, except instead of being light and ridiculous it's heavy and slow and kind of a bummer. It's sort of feels like it's trying to be the other killer character study that came out recently: The American. Except it can't commit to not blowing things up and being formulaic and also it's hard to do a character study when you barely have characters to work with. So yeah.
I mean, it's not a bad movie. Ben Foster does an admirable job trying to flesh out his little thug of a character and Jason Statham does lots fighting and rolling and shooting, occasionally throwing in a facial tic or two.
The music also, is good, very evocative of New Orleans and fitting with the mood of the movie. There's a scene with some pretty cool shots of a New Orleans cemetery (the ones that look all cool and mausoleum-y), and the action's all right. There's a pretty crazy scene with a garbage disposal but my big gripe is with the ending. It makes or breaks the movie and in this case it breaks it. Without spoiling anything, if this movie had ended about five minutes earlier than it actually did, it would have been so much better. Still a bummer, but way better. Instead, it is cliche and stupid and Jason Statham. In the end, The Mechanic is neither a brainless popcorn movie like I was hoping for, nor an intensely dark character study, which would have pleasantly surprised me. It meanders somewhere in between and for that indecision, racks up two catapults out of five (had they fixed the ending, they might've managed to swing a two and a half or even three). So there.
This is Sugary Cynic saying "If I wanted a good quirky movie about mentor-assassins, I should've just watched In Bruges again" 'Night!
Ryan: "So, how do you get the job of hitman boss? How did he end up in that position of power? How does his job work? So that guy's dead now, ok, what's he getting out of it? Where's his revenue coming from?"
Me: "You are putting way too much thought into this"