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Review: The Mechanic

Hackneyed retooling of a 1972 thriller
By TOM MEEK  |  March 25, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

Maybe films were better in the '70s. Tomb Raider maestro Simon West's remake of the 1972 action thriller can't be bothered with nuance, intrigue, or piquant detail. Instead, he stirs up an overamped duel of bravado focused on getting to the next spectacular killing. The '70s version built a macabre house of cards where killing was a subtle art form and those who did it were lonely outsiders. The ace in the hole then was the quirky existentialism of Charles Bronson. Jason Stratham, who plays the 2011 Arthur Bishop, is capable of more, but the hackneyed retooling of the plot (which trades your traditional mob for an Enron-like spy agency) and West's penchant for wham-bam jolts leaves the actor with little to do but hiss stoically. The bonus here is Bostonian Ben Foster as a student assassin looking to avenge his father's death. If you could somehow pair Bronson and Foster, that'd be the hit.

Related: Review: Bronson, Review: Pandorum, Review: The Messenger, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Ben Foster, Charles Bronson
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