The Mechanic is a 2011 American action thriller film starring Jason Statham as the title character. It is directed by Simon West, is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name that starred Charles Bronson. Statham stars as Arthur Bishop, a professional assassin who specializes in making his hits look like accidents, suicides, or the acts of petty criminals. It was released in the United States and Canada on , 2011.
The film opens following a man as his plane lands at a private hangar and he makes his way to his mansion with his armed guard escort. The man changes into his swimwear and proceeds to get into his private pool while armed guards watch. As he swims he notices his watch at the bottom of the pool and swims down to retrieve it. An unknown man grabs the swimming victim and holds him under until he dies. The assassin, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), then uses the chaos that follows to take a careful route out of the mansion and to a nearby river where he jumps in and makes his escape. Back home, Bishop meets with Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland) whom Bishop regards as a friend and mentor figure. Harry pays Bishop for his work in Colombia and discuss Harry's son Steve McKenna (Ben Foster) before parting ways.
Returning to his house, Bishop checks for his new contract only to find that the new contract is to kill Harry. Bishop phones his employer to verify if the contract is correct and upon confirmation he requests a face to face meeting. Bishop meets with Dean (Tony Goldwyn) who tells him about a failed mission in South Africa in which assassins of the agency Bishop works for were killed. Dean tells Bishop that only two people knew about the mission, Dean and Harry, and that Harry had received money in exchange for the contract details. Bishop reluctantly kills Harry and makes it look like a carjacking. At Harry's grave Bishop meets Harry's son, Steve. Steve tells Bishop that he's going to go out and find any carjacker and kill them as revenge. Bishop secretly follows Steve and interrupts him from killing a carjacker that he had run into. Bishop recognizes the raw potential of Steve and decides to train him as a "Mechanic". He adopts a chihuahua and instructs Steve to take the dog with him to a coffee shop each day at the same time. As Steve settles in to his routine Bishop escalates his training by taking him on a contract to show him what it's like. After Bishop strangles the man with a belt and stages it to look like an erotic asphyxiation accident, he shows Steve all the planning that went into that assassination.
Bishop informs Steve that he has a contract of his own. The target is a mechanic for another agency named Burke (Jeff Chase), who frequents the same coffee shop Steve has been going to. Furthermore, Steve is told that Burke's only weaknesses are that he is interested in young men and small dogs (such as the chihuahua they adopted). Burke makes his move on Steve and invites him out to drinks. Bishop instructs Steve to slip a large dose of Rohypnol into Burke's drink to cause an overdose. Steve ignores this direction and instead goes with Burke to his apartment. As Burke begins to undress, Steve attempts to strangle him with a belt as he had seen Bishop do. They engage in a struggle, and Steve manages to kill Burke after much effort. Bishop is later contacted by Dean, who expresses his disapproval of Bishop's use of Steve for the Burke contract. Bishop replies that he was given that contract through Harry and not Dean. Angry at his indignation, Dean informs Bishop that he's on a short leash.
Bishop is given a new contract to kill the leader of a cult-like church, Andrew Vaughn (John McConnell). Steve and Bishop plan to inject Vaughn with adrenaline to simulate a heart attack, for which the paramedics would unknowingly administer a fatal second dose of adrenaline. As Bishop and Steve wait in the walls of Vaughn's hotel room, a doctor arrives and sets Vaughn up with an IV of ketamine. Realizing that the adrenaline overdose would be inhibited by the ketamine, they improvise and quickly suffocate him. When Vaughn is discovered by his guards, Bishop and Steve are found hiding in the walls of the hotel and are forced into a shoot-out with the guards. As the building is being evacuated, Bishop and Steve slip out and Bishop decides they should fly home separately.
At the airport Bishop sees one of the men he was told was killed on the South African mission that Harry had allegedly sold out. During a confrontation with the man, Bishop realizes that his boss, Dean, had tricked him into killing Harry and that it had been Dean who engineered the failed South African mission to cover up his own shady dealings. Having been misled, Bishop begins to get things in order, only to be ambushed by a group of mechanics. After taking them out, he uses one of their phones and discovers that Dean was behind the hit. Racing home, Bishop calls Steve only to find that Steve has also been ambushed at Bishop's house. Bishop directs Steve to a hidden gun, which Steve uses to kill his ambushers. Steve is waiting for directions when Bishop arrives. Bishop has Steve gather supplies for their new mission, while Bishop prepares to find how to get to Dean. In the process, Steve finds his father's gun, and realizes that Bishop had killed his father and not carjackers. On their way to Dean, Bishop sees the handle of Harry's gun in Steve's jacket and realizes that Steve has discovered the truth.
After working together to kill Dean, they decide it is time to part company and stop at a gas station. Steve gets out to put gas in the car and adjusts the nozzle so it is pouring on the ground instead of in the tank. With Bishop still in the truck, Steve pulls out Harry's gun and shoots the gas, blowing up Bishop's vehicle and the gas station. Steve then returns to Bishop's house and plays a record on the turntable before going out to the garage and taking the vintage 1966 Jaguar E-Type coupe Bishop had been working on. As he is driving off, Steve notices a note on the seat of the car, which reads: "Steve, if you're reading this then you're dead!" Steve laughs and moments later the car explodes killing him. At the same time the record player has finished playing at Bishop's house and it activates a tripwire, which causes Bishop's house to also explode. Back at the gas station, a security video reveales that Bishop escaped from his truck moments before Steve blew it up, saving him. Bishop gets in another truck he had by the beach and drives away.
* Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop
* Ben Foster as Steve McKenna
* Tony Goldwyn as Dean Sanderson
* Donald Sutherland as Harry McKenna
* Jeff Chase as Burke
* Mini Anden as Sarah
The Mechanic is directed by Simon West and stars Jason Statham as the title character. The film is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name that starred Charles Bronson. The original film's producers, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, sought to make an updated film, and pre-rights to the remake were sold at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2009. (Variety reported that the screenplay was written by Karl Gajdusek.) West and Statham were announced as part of the project the following May. In October 2009, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland were cast alongside Statham. Filming began on , 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana and lasted for nine weeks. Filming locations included St. Tammany Parish, the World Trade Center building in downtown New Orleans, and the Algiers Seafood Market.
The soundtrack music is by Mark Isham, with the exception of the classical music that is played when Bishop returns from a mission. That piece is Trio No. 2 in E-flat major for piano, violin, and violoncello, D. 929 by Franz Schubert.
The Mechanic was released in the United States and Canada on , 2011. Millennium Films sold U.S. distribution rights to CBS Films for the 2011 release. The film was expected to perform well with male audiences with its release a week before Super Bowl XLV.
The film grossed on its opening weekend in the United States and Canada. To date, it has grossed a total of in the United States and Canada and on other territories for a worldwide total of .
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 52% based on reviews from 124 critics and reports a rating average of 6.5 out of 10.
Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 49% based on 35 reviews.
Roger Ebert awarded the film two out of a possible four stars and said, "Audiences have been drilled to accept noise and movement as entertainment. It is done so well one almost forgets to ask why it has been done at all."
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