The Assassin's Apprentice
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a solitary man, it is a necessity as he is an expert assassin and having friends would make him weak. But he feels conflict when his latest assignment is to kill his immediate boss Harry (Donald Sutherland), but knowing that if he doesn't someone else will he does the job. Feeling guilty Arthur takes Harry's son, Steve (Ben Foster), under his wing and trains him up to be an assassin. But things get messy when not only Arthur learns the truth but so does Steve.
"The Mechanic" is a simple concept, have Jason Statham play an efficient character as he did in "The Transporter" but this time have him as an expert assassin. As for the storyline well combine two very predictable ideas, the assassin is set up when ordered to kill his mentor and then takes the mentor's son under his wing, keeping from him the fact he killed his father. What this means is that "The Mechanic" from a storyline point of view is obvious but we get action, some Statham snappy butt kicking, some sex scenes and director Simon West making it relatively stylish.
Now technically "The Mechanic" is an action thriller but like so many action thrillers it isn't that thrilling. Anyone who watches movies will be able to predict how things will play out not only when it comes to Arthur finding out the truth but also when Steve does as well. And like other thrillers which struggle to be thrilling it is all a bit of a nonsense and little more than a vehicle for action, stylish action at that with director Simon West delivering the sort of spectacular visuals we know he is capable of.
But it is in the action where "The Mechanic" works with plenty of opportunity for us to watch Statham kick plenty of butt and fire plenty of weapons. Some of it is cheesy, a training montage as Harry trains Steve is especially corny, but some is amusing and a lot of it is exciting. But it isn't anything new, maybe a bit more bloody in places but it is Statham kicking butt with Ben Foster alongside him shooting people rather than kicking butt.
In many ways "The Mechanic" is a typical Jason Statham movie and more disappointing is that Ben Foster ends up so ordinary. Foster has a real talent for playing edgy, dangerous, even psychotic characters but here the writing does him no favours and ends up with an ordinary character which doesn't challenge him. And as for the other star name, Donald Sutherland, well again Sutherland finds himself in a meaningless role which in truth could have just as easily been played by a lesser known actor for probably a lot less money.
What this all boils down to is that "The Mechanic" is a typical Jason Statham action thriller which lacks an interesting storyline but is heavy in style. It is all incredibly obvious but no better or worse than any other generic action thriller out there.