Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity, 94 minutes
"The Mechanic" is forgettable, trashy entertainment
"The Mechanic" is a weak machine. Forgettable, trashy and fast-paced entertainment that will likely be a modest hit, it's actually a remake of a trashy 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle. Loud and unnecessary, it utilizes Jason Statham well, who has morphed into a decent, if not low-grade, action-hero. He's paired with Ben Foster, a terrific young actor who often underuses his talents, though he makes for a fine bad guy.
Here, Statham is Arthur Bishop, a hired hitman by Harry (Donald Sutherland) who makes millions by hiring people like Arthur to do his dirty work. Because Harry is so corrupt himself, he ends one of Arthur's victims, and then Harry's estranged, slimy son named Steve (Foster) shows up and becomes an apprentice hitman with Arthur as the teacher. Together they work to bring down the slimeball (Tony Goldwyn) who still runs Harry's company.
Trashy, typical forgettable winter fare, "The Mechanic" makes good use of Statham and Foster, who still can't overcome how ridiculous and unnecessary the story is to begin with. Statham can play these roles in his sleep and will continue making good money playing them, much like Bronson himself did in the 1970s and '80s. Directed with loud, unoriginal flair by Simon West ("Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"), West thinks the bigger explosions the better, but after all they all run together, and after it's over, you won't remember much of it.