The Mechanic

Rated 2.0

The financial reasons for the recent plague of remakes are innumerable, but the best artistic reason for a do-over is that the original movie was a piece of crap. By that standard, 1972’s The Mechanic is an ideal remake candidate, since Michael Winner’s pairing of Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent was an unwatchable take on the fashionable Euro-existentialist muck of the time. Unfortunately, this sleeker and bloodier update from hack Simon West (Tomb Raider) is no better, and unlike the original, doesn’t even have the courage of its own pretensions. Jason Statham takes over as the efficient but alienated hit man Arthur Bishop, so instead of Bronson’s dandified sad sack, we get Statham doing Bald, Growling Badass 1A. After carrying out an assignment to kill his mentor, he takes the mentor’s live-wire son (Ben Foster) under his wing. The expected amount of incredulity and exploding heads ensues.