by Dan Fields
First published January 29, 2011 by the California Literary Review
Hyperviolent Marshmallow Fluff
Jason Statham, the icy British actor famous for jacked-up action romps including The Transporter and Crank, returns to bust heads at a more thoughtful pace in The Mechanic, a remake of Michael Winner’s 1972 film of the same name, which starred Charles Bronson.
Arthur Bishop is a special breed of contract killer – a mechanic – who specializes in “clean” assignments, in which a murder is staged either to look like an accident or to frame an innocent third party. Thus he plots his operations intricately from a hip, ultra-modern pad stashed away in the south Louisiana swamps. He has a very neat little operation going on until he gets a contract to kill his long-time mentor and friend, a suitably grizzled Donald Sutherland. Rattled by guilt over the hit and suspicious about its motives, he determines to get to the bottom of it, enlisting the help of his victim’s ne’er-do-well son Steve (Ben Foster of Pandorum) who is unaware of Bishop’s own complicity in the killing.