“I was gonna start this with the phrase “”I’ve said before…”” but I think I overuse that. I should just flat out say what Im gonna say. Too \m/ bad if Im repeating myself. There are a handful of actors that I will blindly follow to any film: Edward Norton, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jared Leto, Christian Bale are a few examples. Its rare that there’s two such actors in one film (at least not opposite each other in the top roles), but The Mechanic managed to do just that by casting Jason Statham and Ben Foster.
In thinking about the write up, I’d originally intended to refer to Statham as one of my favorite action stars. However, pondering it further, I think he really is my number one in that area. I really can’t think of anyone else that measures up to him right now. I tried to think thru my fave recent action flicks, ran thru the cast of The Expendables, and it seems the trend is to train up hot shot celebs for the one film and then move on. Maybe you groom them for a franchise, but its not like the days when Stallone and Van Damme ruled the genre. The only others I can come up with that are moderately active are Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson (Im purposely omitting Jackie Chan and Jet Li since I consider martial arts a separate subgenre). So naturally, this action junkie will follow her number one action star to any of his films that tease me with shiny things.
Ben Foster, I’ve been a fan of since he was on Flash Forward on the Disney channel. I lost track of him for a while as he dove into indie territory and I wasn’t quite into film. But in recent years, he’s been making a name for himself and I’m far more in touch with film in general. Especially once he led me to The Messenger last year, I really cant help but remain his disciple (hmm that word may be a bit strong).
I’d only seen the trailer once and didnt really remember it, so I wasnt entirely sure what I was in for. I expected action, and that did eventually come, but for a while it was heavier on the dark drama. While that caught me off guard at first, I really got into it. The storyline was predictable at pretty much every turn, but I couldnt help but be absorbed by it. The subject matter was just dark enough, and shit got \m/ up fast.
The fight sequences and such were really raw and gritty, as I’ve come to expect from Statham. They weren’t the over the top extremely implausible crap you get in the blockbuster action flicks. Nothing against those big summer movies, but I think I do prefer this style. It looks more real and feels more intense. Although, in defense of the alternative approach, you do get some of the more creative WTF moments there.
There was some cleverness to the characters and their tactics, even if that may have been lacking in the story. I only say it was lacking because it was all entirely expected. Hell, I even predicted a few exact lines of dialogue. But the film wasnt pretending to be any more than it was. It kept the plot to a nice and streamlined minimum, keeping the pace quick, the run time down, and the action abundant. I’d rank some of Statham’s other work (ie The Transporter) above this, but ultimately it was worth a quick trek in the cold.
Oh, one last quick note. This was in the RPX auditorium, the first non-3D movie I see there. I really didnt notice anything extra shiny about the screen. Yeah the seats are marginally more comfy, but I’ll stick to my previous decision which is not to go outta my way to catch movies there. If the ideal time for a film is that viewing (or in this case the only viewing), fine. Otherwise, eh.
The Mechanic – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/