The Mechanic (2011 film)
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Simon West|
|Story by||Lewis John Carlino|
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Distributed by||CBS Films|
|Box office||$76.3 million|
The Mechanic is a 2011 American action thriller film directed by Simon West and starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Written by Lewis John Carlino and Richard Wenk, it is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. Statham stars as Arthur Bishop, a professional assassin who specializes in making his hits look like accidents, suicides or the acts of petty criminals. It was released in the United States and Canada on January 28, 2011 to mixed reviews. A sequel was released on August 26, 2016.
Arthur Bishop, working as a "mechanic" (mafia slang for hitman), sneaks into the lavish home of a Colombian drug cartel leader and drowns him in his own pool. Upon returning home to Louisiana, he meets with friend and mentor Harry McKenna, who pays Bishop for his work.
Bishop is given a new assignment: kill Harry. Bishop's employer confirms by phone that the contract is correct, whereupon he requests a face-to-face meeting. Dean tells him about a failed mission in South Africa, in which agency assassins were killed.
Dean says that only himself and Harry knew the details of the mission, and that Harry had been paid for the contract details. Reluctantly, Bishop kills Harry with the latter's own gun and makes it look like a carjacking. At his funeral, Bishop meets Harry's reckless son Steve. Bishop stops Steve from trying to kill a would-be carjacker in a misguided attempt at cathartic vengeance. Steve convinces Bishop to train him as a mechanic. Adopting a chihuahua, he instructs Steve to take the dog with him to a coffee shop each day at the same time. As Steve settles into a routine, Bishop escalates training, taking him to observe a contract killing.
The target is a mechanic for another agency named Burke, who frequents the same coffee shop. 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 for drinks. Bishop instructs Steve to slip a large dose of Rohypnol into Burke's drink to cause an overdose. Steve ignores the instructions and goes with Burke to his apartment. When Burke begins to undress, Steve attempts to strangle him with a belt as he had seen Bishop do on a former assignment. Burke fights back, using his size advantage and experience, but Steve manages to kill Burke after much effort and a lengthy fight. Dean expresses his disapproval of Bishop involving Steve, and that violated the rules of the contract arrangement, but Bishop says that Harry and his arrangement was for price only, and Harry left the details up to Bishop.
Bishop's next contract is to kill cult leader Andrew Vaughn. They plan to inject their victim with adrenaline to simulate a heart attack, for which the paramedics would administer a fatal dose of epinephrine. While Bishop and Steve are preparing for the hit, Vaughn's doctor arrives, and he sets Vaughn up with an IV of ketamine, which will inhibit the adrenaline's effects. The hit men decide to suffocate him instead, but are discovered after killing Vaughn and are forced into a shootout with the guards; they slip away and fly home separately.
At the airport, Bishop sees a supposed victim of the mission that Harry allegedly sold out. He confronts the other mechanic, who tells Bishop that he was paid by Dean to kill the other mechanics in South Africa and fake his death so that Dean could engineer the failed mission to cover up his own shady dealings; he also reveals that Dean framed Harry and that he tricked Bishop into killing his friend.
The mechanic then attempts to kill Bishop and after a struggle between the two professionals, Bishop ends up killing him. Bishop is later ambushed by a hit squad: after killing them, he discovers that Dean was behind the hit. Bishop goes home to call Steve, only to find that Steve has been ambushed. Bishop directs Steve to a hidden gun, which Steve uses to kill his attackers. Steve gathers supplies for their new mission while Bishop 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. When they stop for gas, Steve floods the ground with fuel while pretending to fill the tank. He walks a safe distance and shoots the gas, blowing up the truck with Bishop still inside.
Steve returns to the 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. As he is driving away, Steve finds a note on the passenger seat: "Steve, if you're reading this, then you're dead!", which he laughs off as a joke before the car explodes, killing him. Bishop's house is destroyed by a chain reaction of explosions.
Back at the gas station, a security video reveals that Bishop had escaped from the truck, seconds before the explosion. Bishop gets into a spare truck and drives away.
- Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop
- Ben Foster as Steve McKenna
- Tony Goldwyn as Dean Sanderson
- Donald Sutherland as Harry McKenna
- Jeff Chase as Burke
- John McConnell as Andrew Vaughn
- Mini Andén as Sarah
- Stuart Greer as Ralph
- Christa Campbell as Kelly
- James Logan as Jorge Lara
- Eddie J. Fernandez as Lara's guard
- Joshua Bridgewater as Car jacker
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. Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland were cast alongside Statham in October 2009. Filming began in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 14 and lasted for nine weeks. Filming locations included St. Tammany Parish, the World Trade Center in downtown New Orleans and the Algiers Seafood Market.
|The Mechanic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by Mark Isham|
|Released||January 25, 2011|
|Label||MIM Records MIM002|
|Mark Isham chronology|
The soundtrack music is by Mark Isham, with two exceptions:
- 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.
- and "Better Off Dead" by Linnzi Zaorski, herself playing the "Jazz Club Singer".
All tracks written by Mark Isham.
|The Mechanic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|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|
|11.||"I Wanna Know What You Know"||1:44|
|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|
|27.||"Vengeance is the Mission"||3:16|
|29.||"Original 1m1 (Bonus Track)"||1:29|
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.
The film grossed $11.4 million on its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. It ended with a North American gross of $29.1 million and $47.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $76.3 million.
The Mechanic received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 53%, based on 156 reviews, with a rating average of 5.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Jason Statham and Ben Foster turn in enjoyable performances, but this superficial remake betrays them with mind-numbing violence and action thriller cliches." On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 49 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
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."
TV advertisement ban
In June 2011 the UK's Advertising Standards Authority banned an advertisement for the film from being broadcast on British television. The ban followed complaints from 13 viewers regarding a screening of the advert during the teen show Glee. In its ruling, the authority found that although the advert was shown post-watershed, it was likely that a large number of viewers under the age of 16 would have been watching Glee at the time, and criticized the "stream of violent imagery" portrayed in the advert.
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- Scott, Mike (October 26, 2009). "Hollywood South is heating up as the weather cools down". The Times-Picayune.
- Alexander-Bloch, Benjamin (October 26, 2009). "Jason Statham back in action locally -- this time in St. Tammany". The Times-Picayune.
- Scott, Mike (November 17, 2009). "'The Mechanic' brings eerie scenes to life in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune.
- Scott, Mike (November 18, 2009). "'The Mechanic' film crews to light up Algiers neighborhood for explosive sequence". The Times-Picayune.
- Kay, Jeremy (August 8, 2010). "Millennium sells US rights on The Mechanic to CBS Films". Screen Daily.
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- "The Mechanic". Metacritic. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Ebert, Robert (January 26, 2011). "The Mechanic". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "The Mechanic film advert banned from television". BBC News. June 1, 2011.