The Mechanic (2011 film)

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The Mechanic
The shape of a handgun, made up from an arrangement of many other guns
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Simon West
Produced by Irwin Winkler
Robert Chartoff
David Winkler
William Chartoff
Written by Lewis John Carlino
Richard Wenk
Story by Lewis John Carlino
Starring Jason Statham
Ben Foster
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Eric Schmidt
Edited by T.G. Herrington
Todd E. Miller
Distributed by CBS Films
Release dates
  • January 28, 2011 (2011-01-28) (North America)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[1]
Box office $62–$76.3 million[1][2]

The Mechanic is a 2011 American action thriller film starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Directed by Simon West, it is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, directed by Michael Winner, starring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. Statham stars as Arthur Bishop, a professional assassin who specializes in making his hits look like accidents, suicides or the acts of petty criminals.[3] It was released in the United States and Canada on January 28, 2011. A sequel is due for release in 2016.


A suspected Colombian drug cartel leader is drowned while swimming in his pool by a "mechanic", Arthur Bishop. Bishop escapes the ensuing chaos by jumping into a nearby river. He later meets with his friend and mentor, Harry McKenna, who pays Bishop for his work.

At his house, Bishop finds that his new contract is to kill Harry. Bishop's employer confirms by phone that the contract is correct, whereupon Bishop requests a face-to-face meeting. Dean tells Bishop about a failed mission in South Africa, in which assassins of Bishop's agency were killed. Dean relates that only two people knew about the mission—himself and Harry—and that Harry had been paid for the contract details. Bishop reluctantly kills Harry with his own gun and makes it look like a carjacking. At Harry's funeral, Bishop meets Harry's son Steve, and decides to train him as a mechanic. He adopts a chihuahua and instructs Steve to take the dog with him to a coffee shop each day at the same time. As Steve settles in to his routine, Bishop escalates his training by taking him on a contract.

Bishop informs Steve that he has a contract of his own. The target is a mechanic for another agency named Burke, who frequents the same coffee shop as Steve. Burke's only weaknesses are that he is interested in young men and small dogs. Burke makes his move on Steve and invites him out to drinks. Bishop instructs Steve to slip a large dose of Rohypnol into Burke's drink to cause an overdose. Steve ignores this direction and instead goes with Burke to his apartment. Burke begins to undress, and Steve attempts to strangle him with a belt as Bishop had done. Steve manages to kill Burke after much effort. Dean expresses his disapproval of Bishop's use of Steve for the Burke contract, but Bishop replies that he was given that contract through Harry and not Dean.

Bishop is given a contract to kill Andrew Vaughn, the leader of a cult-like church. Steve and Bishop plan to inject Vaughn with adrenaline to simulate a heart attack, for which the paramedics would administer a fatal dose of epinephrine. A doctor arrives and sets Vaughn up with an IV of ketamine, which would inhibit the epinephrine's effects. They improvise and suffocate him, but are discovered and forced into a shootout with the guards. They slip out while the building is being evacuated and fly home separately.

At the airport, Bishop sees a supposed victim of the mission that Harry allegedly sold out. Bishop realizes that Dean had tricked him into killing Harry, and that Dean engineered the failed mission to cover up his own shady dealings. Later, Bishop is ambushed by a group of mechanics. After killing them, he discovers that Dean was behind the hit. Bishop goes home to call Steve, only to find that Steve has also been ambushed at Bishop's house. Bishop directs Steve to a hidden gun, which Steve uses to kill his ambushers. Bishop has Steve gather supplies for their new mission while he plots how to get to Dean. In the process, Steve finds his father's gun and realizes that Bishop killed Harry.

Bishop and Steve kill Dean in an ambush. On the way back, Bishop notices Steve carrying Harry's gun. They stop for gas where as he's pumping, Steve floods the ground with fuel. He shoots the gas, blowing up Bishop's truck with Bishop still inside. Steve returns to Bishop's house and performs two actions that Bishop told him not to do: playing a record on the turntable, and taking the 1966 Jaguar E-Type Bishop had been working on. As he is driving away, Steve notices a note on the passenger seat: "Steve, if you're reading this, then you're dead!" Moments later, the car explodes, killing him. At the same time, Bishop's house also explodes. Back at the gas station, a security video reveals that Bishop had escaped from underneath the truck, seconds before the explosion. Bishop gets into a spare truck he had by the beach and drives away.



Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, producers of the 1972 original Mechanic, sought to make an update. Pre-rights to the remake were sold in February 2009 at the Berlin Film Festival. (Variety reported that the screenplay was written by Karl Gajdusek.) Director Simon West and Jason Statham were announced as part of the project three months later.[5] Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland were cast alongside Statham in October 2009.[6] Filming began in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 14 and lasted for nine weeks.[7] Filming locations included St. Tammany Parish,[8] the World Trade Center in downtown New Orleans[9] and the Algiers Seafood Market.[10]


The Mechanic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Mark Isham
Released January 25, 2011
Length 71:36
Label MIM Records MIM002
Mark Isham chronology
The Crazies
The Mechanic
The Factory

The soundtrack music is by Mark Isham, with the exception of Franz Schubert's 1827 Trio No. 2 in E-flat major for piano, violin, and violoncello, D. 929, which is played when Bishop returns from a mission. The record was released on January 25, 2011 via MIM Records label.

All songs written and composed by Mark Isham

The Mechanic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Barranquilla"   1:22
2. "Drowning"   3:11
3. "Bayou"   1:17
4. "Liquor Fairy"   1:17
5. "Coffee Shop to Bar"   0:46
6. "I Want a Meeting"   2:31
7. "Poisoned the Well"   2:07
8. "Amat Victoria Curam"   5:31
9. "Looking Back"   0:33
10. "Carjack"   2:35
11. "I Wanna Know What You Know"   1:44
12. "Up Close"   2:35
13. "Up Close (Alternate Version)"   2:34
14. "Chihuahuas and Boys"   1:54
15. "Don't Get in His Car"   1:37
16. "Anger, and a Place to Put It"   3:58
17. "An Outside Individual"   1:53
18. "I'm Not a Reverend (Vaughn's Setup Part 1)"   1:14
19. "Vaughn's Setup Part 2"   4:37
20. "Vaughn's Hit Part 1"   2:27
21. "They're in the Wall (Vaughn's Hit Part 2)"   2:45
22. "They Played You So Easily"   3:47
23. "Left Side Cushion"   3:51
24. "Fingers, Wrist, Elbow?"   2:17
25. "Save the Fuel, I'm Coming for You"   4:46
26. "Gun Sting"   0:35
27. "Vengeance is the Mission"   3:16
28. "The Mechanic"   3:07
29. "Original 1m1 (Bonus Track)"   1:29


Theatrical run[edit]

The Mechanic was released in the United States and Canada on January 28, 2011. Millennium Films sold U.S. distribution rights to CBS Films for the release. It was expected to perform well with male audiences, with its release a week before Super Bowl XLV.[11]

The film grossed $11.4 million on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. To date it has grossed a total of $29.1 million in those countries and $16.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total after a recount of over $51 million.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives The Mechanic a score of 53% based on reviews from 156 critics, and reports a rating average of 5.6 out of 10.[12] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 49% based on 35 reviews.[13]

Roger Ebert awarded the film two out of four stars and said, "Audiences have been drilled to accept noise and movement as entertainment. It is done so well one almost forgets to ask why it has been done at all."[14]

TV advertisement ban[edit]

On 1 June 2011, the BBC website confirmed that the TV advertisement for this film had been banned from television by the Advertising Watchdog.[15]

The TV commercial was broadcast during the teen show Glee and received 13 viewer complaints.[citation needed] The advert reportedly showed "a man's head exploding" and showed a "stream of violent imagery" according to the Advertising Standards Authority.[citation needed]


Dennis Gansel will direct a sequel, with Jason Statham returning as Arthur Bishop.[16]


External links[edit]