It doesn't take a keen observer of cinema to recognise that Jason Statham has become typecast. It's hard to imagine him playing any other role outside of his comfort zone. He's either a tough-talking rogue or the hard-to-kill lunatic. It will therefore come as no surprise then that his character isn't light years away from any of his previous roles.
Statham plays Arthur Bishop, an assasin or "mechanic" happy to eliminate someone if the money is right. As is explained in the opening voiceover; the best jobs are not those where he bursts in guns blazing, but instead those where he slips in & out unnoticed. Bishop's first hit for example is particularly clever. After an unusually difficult job for the normally detached Bishop, he reluctantly takes on an apprentice, coaching him in the subtle art of murder. The action is very entertaining, and it's kind of fun to follow the intricate plotting and planning of the jobs. There is a brilliant scene when his new apprentice, desperate to prove himself in his first solo "hit", instead of taking the easy option decides to go one-on-one with his target, and this fight scene is a highlight of the film.
The violence, as expected, is off the charts, and I am amazed this is a "15" and not an "18" certificate as people don't just die, they die OUT LOUD. Still, Statham is, in his understated way, a satisfying action star, stoically going about his business.
There are some twists and turns, though perhaps some are signposted a little too strongly, yet after baffling films like "Inception" this is refreshingly honest as it does exactly what it says on the tin. The slick, glossy look gives the film a fast paced feeling, aided by its relatively short running time (92 mins).
"The Mechanic" is a decent action film which will satisfy existing Statham fans but may not recruit new ones.