Movie review: ‘The Mechanic’
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 (6:10 p.m.)
It’s not easy to make a half-assed Charles Bronson/Jan-Michael Vincent thriller from 1972 look good, but that’s just what the new version of The Mechanic accomplishes. The remake of Michael Winner’s lame action movie keeps the basic setup of the plot—a veteran hit man (Jason Statham) offs his mentor, then takes on the man’s son (Ben Foster) as a protégé—while complicating things with extra betrayals and more bloodshed. But adding more explosions and gunplay doesn’t make the story any more interesting, and the new version equivocates far too much about whether these killers are really bad guys or righteous vigilantes. Statham is probably the best action star working these days, but even he can’t do much with the wearying, overblown material here. And after all the ugly, pandering violence without an ounce of creativity, the movie closes by copping out on the original’s nihilistic ending, one of its only good qualities. What’s next for Statham, remaking Death Wish?