The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham, is a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie of the same name. It's your standard gun-for-hire action film, with the assassin developing a conscience at some point in the story. Sometimes remakes work and make the story even better, but often they're weak or at least unnecessary. Will this blow everyone away with hunky men and special effects, or will we be left scratching our heads wondering why anybody watched the original? Let's take a look at the reviews for The Mechanic.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:
"The Mechanic" tells a story as old as "Hamlet" in a style as new as unbaked bread. What's the point? An intriguing plot is established, a new character is brought on with a complex set of problems, and then all the groundwork disintegrates into the usual hash of preposterous action sequences. Is there an action director left who knows it isn't all about the sound and the fury?
Luke Y. Thompson, E! Online:
Less frenetic than your usual Jason Statham action franchise film, this remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson/Jan-Michael Vincent vehicle is more of the kind of character-driven suspense audiences often say they want.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
What's remarkable about the remake is its nastiness. [...] The filmmakers want it both ways with this man: comic relief (isn't it funny to see him with his little Chihuahua?) and stone-cold freak, though admirably emotion-free when it comes to piling up bodies. Pile up they do.
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel:
The bad taste the movie leaves in your mouth starts with some of the victims. In finding people who “deserve” their fate, the script points Bishop and Steve at a hulking gay hit-man, saying “he likes young boys.” But if the nearly-30 Steven is his type, that’s not exactly true, is it? You’re just playing into audience homophobia.
The reviews could have been worse, but people probably won't be running out to see this movie. At least it plays to an audience that's out there: the one that likes gratuitous violence and doesn't need to be sold on the story. Oh, and they also need to be okay with the acting being only so-so.
Are you watching The Mechanic this weekend?
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