Mechanic, The (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus now wonders if Kwik Fit fitters are actually hitmen like Statham
Arthur’s (Jason Statham) a hitman. A cold, solitary hitman, who barely says a word and gets the job done without anyone knowing it was even a hit, but just an accident. He has a mentor (Donald Sutherland) who is probably the only person in the world that knows who he really is and Arthur's just found out that he’s his next hit.
Against his better judgement he takes his friend out and then out of guilt takes it upon himself to train his wayward son Steve (Ben Foster) to become a hitman too. Later Arthur finds out the whole ‘kill your mentor’ thing was a con to get him out of the picture and now Arthur is going after those who lied to him all while his new apprentice finds out Arthur killed his father. Yup, that’s right you’ve seen this movie countless times before but this time it’s called The Mechanic.
This one is about as straightforward as they come but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. The plot wanders along without any intention of giving us any surprises and every character is torn straight out of the ‘How to make a hitman movie manual’. That said, its restraint and old school sensibilities made this rise above the current flashy actioners and while the majority of my enjoyment was because of the nostalgic trip down smash, punch, shoot eighties action avenue and my inability to dislike Jason Statham in anything, I still went along with the plot that I’ve seen countless times tricking myself into not guessing what was going to happen next and disregarding the makes no sense ending (I mean come on, Arthur worked out that Steve knew about his Dad long after Arthur was last at his house right? When did he set all that stuff up?)
The entire film seemed to have a golden glow that switched degrees of effectiveness depending on the location. At its most powerful the screen literally shines with its golden good looks but it’s the grain that’s going to split the audience. Wide shots are literally peppered with the stuff and even though the much better looking and much sharper close ups still have the grain, stylistically speaking it gives the movie a pretty good look.
Textures are a mixed bag, with wrinkles and stubble on skin looking good but everything else not so much. Black levels are very deep and work very well, especially for the shadowing in the scenes and there’s the odd detail that pops from time to time too. The swimming pool in the opening scene looks pretty great, despite not having the usual light blue colours you’d expect and most of the fire visuals in the explosions look very striking. Overall The Mechanic looks good in its HD presentation but it’s far from the best of Blu-ray catalogue.
Surprisingly this action flick is quite quiet (and not just because Statham barely talks). Dialogue is strong when the scene requires it but the tough guy whisper fills the majority of scenes and while it’s all clear it’s a little lower than I expected.
When action does kick off, there’s not masses going on. The score is there but not overpowering. The odd bassy gunshot punches out and a handful of fist impacts raise the effectives but really this is quite a tepid affair. There’s not really any noticeable atmospherics, it’s all quite front speaker based and beyond the occasional bit of well-presented musical numbers this was all quite run of the mill.
There’s just under eleven minutes of deleted scenes and a trailer (01:31 SD) but other than that all there is, is the short and sweet ‘Tools of Trade’ featurette (07:47 HD) that focuses on stunts and not all that much else.
The Mechanic (which is a very loose title with an even looser thread to try and sell the title) was absolutely nothing special but the ninety odd minutes flew by and I found myself remembering how much I used to love this sort of flick. I thought the disc had quite a good look to it but its grainier style might turn some away and the audio isn’t really strong enough to get excited about either, so a rental seems a good option for this one.
* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 6th June 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Extras: Featurette, Deleted Scnes, trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Simon West
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Action and Drama
Length: 92 minutes
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