herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Hitman strikes just perfectly

The Mechanic Action; Starring Jason Statham, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland

With any Jason Statham movie, you know you've seen it all before.

There's a strong sense of deja-vu, a shad-owy organisation getting assassins to take out nasty people (as in The American), a double cross (as in Mission Impossible) and a bald kick-ass guy (any Statham movie). But the 43-year-old manages to rise above the cliches in a movie that won't live long in the memory but will keep you gripped. In a remake of Charles Bronson's thriller The Mechanic, Statham plays Arthur Bishop, a hitman who carries out killings on behalf of his boss (Tony Goldwyn).

Bishop's trade is carrying out assassinations and making them look natural. But he has to examine his conscience when he's asked to take out his mentor, Harry (Donald Sutherland) After shooting Harry, Bishop feels duty-bound to look after Harry's son Steve McKenna (Ben Foster). Steve's on a mission to avenge his dad's death, he wants to become an assassin too. Bishop gives him his first job -- poisoning a rival hitman with a passion for young men. But instead of spiking his drink, Steve lures him into a honeytrap and what develops is a truly vicious fight that's bone-crunchingly realistic.

As in all hitman movies, there's a sting in the tail, and you know that the boss is going to be involved. What it lacks in originality, The Mechanic excels in violence. It's one for the boys in particular.

DVD extras: A making-of documentary and a small number of deleted scenes.

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