The Mechanic Movie Review

Up to a certain point, The Mechanic feels like your usual action movie. Jason Statham plays a taciturn killer named Arthur Bishop who excels in sending bad people to the other side while letting it look like accidents. Since you can’t fill a movie with only sending another bad guy to the other side Bishop one day gets the order from his “company” to kill his old mentor because that guy must have leaked some crucial information of an operation.

The Mechanic really starts as your generic and mediocre action flick. Even someone living under a rock could guess that Statham’s character was being set up. But who gives? I’m the first one to ignore a story if at least the movie delivers on the action part. Explosions, fighting, broken bones and necks, one or two cool one-liners and you’re done. I can live with that, especially with Jason Statham playing the bone breaker as I quite like that dude.

But my dreams of ninety minutes of fun craziness were mercilessly crushed by the creators of The Mechanic. They decided to go a completely different route by adding…drama to the mix and by adding an absolutely useless and boring filler story that has nothing to do at all with the main plot.

To me the main plot is this: Jason Statham does as he’s being told and kills his mentor. After a while he finds out he’s being set up, gets “now it’s personal” and goes on a killing spree in which nameless henchmen die by the thousands (in theory).

The filler story, the movie focuses on instead, goes like this: Jason Statham takes the old mentor’s estranged son under his wings, trains him in assassinations and gives him his first assignment. Since the young guy’s a little impulsive the first kill almost fails (instead of poisoning the target he beats him to death). Statham gives him another chance, though, so both go to kill some sort of TV preacher. The drama in all this lies in the fact that the estranged son wants to kill the murderer of his father but of course doesn’t know it’s his own mentor.

The filler story starts almost right after the mentor’s death and ends roundabout one hour later. Thanks to the decision of the creators The Mechanic not only bores us with filler but also has a gap between the setup of…setting up Statham’s character and the payoff by him getting all reveng-y as large as the sun.  Think of Crank as the pitch perfect counter-example: right at the beginning we learn that Statham’s character has been poisoned and has to die slowly. This is the setup. The rest of Crank is probably the longest payoff ever filmed.

In The Mechanic the payoff arrives way too late and – as if the creators spit in the face of the movie audience – begins as a pure coincidence! Bishop sits in an airport (for reasons never mentioned) and happens to see the guy which was supposed to be dead and which the mentor became a target himself. In other words: Statham’s character did no research on its own, didn’t ask questions or wondered if everything went as it should. It’s deus ex machina at its best.

After sitting more than one hour in the dark I finally got my hopes up that The Mechanic might be finally getting to the action part. Broken bones, explosions and so on. But you know what? Even with that the creators screwed up because the big climatic action sequence is so short it was over before it really got started. When the bad mastermind was dead I was all “Huh? That’s it? Already?” It felt as if the creators happily sighed “finally we’re done with the bad action, now we can go back to good drama!”

And this is exactly how The Mechanic feels like. The Mechanic is two movies squeezed into one, missing any kind of rhythm or fun. There’s drama that’s shallow, there’s action that’s flat.

The creators should have decided which way to go and Statham should stick with what he knows: big fucking action movies.


I like Jason Statham but even he cannot save The Mechanic from being a disaster. An action movie has to be dumb, fun and full of bombastic action. The Mechanic is none of that with the exception of being “dumb” and – worst of all – being utterly boring.

Utterly boring. Watch Crank instead!


  • I watched most of the Jason films, and his films are great

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