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The Mechanic

Year: 2011
Production Co: Millennium Films
Director: Simon West
Writer: Richard Wenck, Lewis John Carlino
Cast: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland

Usually an actor would start off in studio-friendly genre films and then flex increasing clout to do edgier movies with a more dramatic bent. A bland action hero with no dramatic range, for example, might catch the eye of a director with a distinctive visual flair like Guy Ritchie and get plenty of room to move with great characterisations and dialogue.

Jason Statham's done the complete opposite, and The Mechanic is an example of how he just coasts along now in roles that require him to little more than occasionally move quickly and never change expression from his trademark baleful scowl. He actually might need to be a bit careful as his movies are starting to just blend from one to the next.

He plays a professional hitman who specialises in making his jobs look like accidents. He's duped into doing away with his mentor and former boss (Sutherland) by the shadowy organisation he works for and his bosses grieving son (Foster) falls in with him.

For reasons I couldn't quite work out he starts training the guy to be a killer like him, all the while knowing he killed the kid's father. Only one thing's certain – it's going to come to an explosive head in the end.

Plenty of thrills and spills will keep action hounds happy but it's a bit bloody to take little kids to. Otherwise it's just The Transporter part seven and like Steven Seagal before him, Statham keeps returning twice the budgets of his films so there's no end in sight for this business model yet.

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