The Mechanic review by Adam Minor - Cinema Paradiso
Simon West’s remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson flick The Mechanic is a movie obviously made for this generation’s attention span.
Jason Statham plays Arthur Bishop, a hired assassin who fancies himself a connoisseur of fine things. When one of Bishop’s hits goes awry, he finds himself with a partner, the son of the man whom he killed, Steve McKenna played by Ben Foster. Together, the two engage in murderous bromance that introduces the young one to the trade, as Bishop’s liquidating mentor played by Donald Sutherland did to him.
Although the original film could’ve used a little action upgrade, Simon West takes it a bit too far. The action and editing is so fast paced that we are unable to adequately process what’s going on.
I’m not sure who has told Hollywood that audience’s attention spans have gone the way of the dodo, but we still wish for a shot to linger on screen long enough to process it. The film seems to be shooting at 24 scenes per second rather than 24 frames per second.
Contrary to popular belief, Statham isn’t a terrible actor; he’s just allowing himself to be typecast into roles that don’t challenge him. He’s a wonderful action star, but I’m sure he could be used for dramatic purposes if only the role would allow him. In The Mechanic, most of the drama falls to Sutherland’s character who gives the film more depth than it deserves.
The film’s characters just aren’t fleshed out enough to hold the audience’s interest, which is ironic when you consider the earlier paragraph. Hollywood just doesn't seem to understand that our attention span is based on characters we care about and not just how fast things move.