Man. Testosterone, right? If I have to sit through another weepy indie flick with Michael Cera stuttering through a cheeky but roundabout proposition to get into the pants of some brunette Daria-wannabe, I may have to strangle the person next to me with their own oversized Skull Candy headphones. Get all Inglourious Basterds all up in here. Where the hell did all the badasses go? The James Bonds of the world – discounting the lame emotionally-bogged down Daniel Craig. I want guns, brawn, action, not some wimpy acoustic guitar playing Moldy Peaches cover band. So for this pre-Valentine’s issue, we’re going to cut the flowery bullshit and bring you an all-man, all-metal, gettin’ laid then gettin’ even murder-thon. That’s right, folks – I watched The Mechanic to ease my troubled mind, and you know what? I feel like kickin’ ass. So maybe you should, too.
So Jason Statham plays a “Mechanic”, which is basically code for “swift motherlovin’ assassin.” The key to his success as a mechanic is that he has the emotional depth of a can of spray paint. He doesn’t get attached. But when his mentor Harry, played by the equally bad-ass Donald Sutherland, biffs it in his wheelchair, Jason Statham’s suddenly faced with an idea more terrifying than death itself – he may actually feel something. That’s right, his inner chakra kitten’s startin’ to purr. These sudden emotions make him do some wild shit, like taking Harry’s son, Steve (the “would-be-hot-without-the-beard’ Ben Foster) under his wing and training him to be a Mechanic to hunt down the dude who killed his dad.
Only problem – Jason Statham may or may not have shot pops in the face on a mission. Whoops! Might be a conflict of interest there, I think.
But none of that matters, not while whisky is being guzzled, hookers are being banged in custodial closets, guns are being assembled and shot with surprising accuracy and flamboyant fat televangelist meth-heads are dying on white couches while listening to their own self-help tapes. And that last scene totally owns, because it covers all the bases of stereotypically undesirable Americans who we’d all like to see dead on a white couch &- the obese, right-wing, meth-shooting country bumpkins, I mean. And the sweaty dude in a loose tie with his family screaming in the corner? He gets his ass kicked, too, just for funzies.
But let’s talk screenplay, folks, because here’s the thing – “I’m going to put a price on your head that’s so big, when you look in the mirror, your reflection’s going to want to shoot you in the face.“
Holy shit, dude.
The big assassin puppet master that Statham’s character works for is in an impeccable suit, in this big glass office, on the phone with Statham, saying these words. Is there anything more badass? And deep? Because Statham’s character seems like he’d kill anybody for enough money, including his own mentor, right, because his whole shit is that he’s super emotionally detached, and, like, his own reflection wouldn’t recognize himself? Or something?
Anyway, the problem’s solved pretty quickly when he murders suit-guy by crushing him with a truck, which is actually pretty clever.
I mean, seriously, Hollywood, bring back the classic manly men, the ones who can kill someone with a hard, cold stare. The Charles Bronsons, the John Waynes, the Humphrey Bogarts, the Gregory Pecks. I’m sure even Jesse Eisenberg could pull it off if he’d gently remove his tampon and stop making movies where he walks around in sweatpants, spending the bulk of his screen time staring into a computer monitor. After all, let’s not lose sight of the real issue here: America was founded on guns, Jesus and naked hookers, not nerds, netbooks and hoodies from American Apparel. Time to get back to basics.