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The line-up for the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and Conference (March 11 through 19) promises another year of great music docs, cool star studded premieres and lower profile indie films that are so numerous that …

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The Mechanic

Submitted by Commandrea on January 30, 2011 – 3:25 pmOne Comment

Leon casino, The Mechanic is a remake of a Charles Bronson starrer from the 70s, you know as in over 35-years ago, before Star Wars and before many people reading this were born. Let me point out right now that there are many Bronson films that should be reborn or remade if only on the principle that they were so cool to begin with.

The 1972 Mechanic was admired in particular because the opening reel has no dialogue as the audience observes Bronson carrying out an assassination. In may ways the current The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham in the Bronson role and with Ben Foster playing the part essayed in the original by Jan-Michael Vincent, starkly achieves the balance of violence and mystery that elevates this kind of filmmaking into genre specific delight.

Statham works as a contract killer for a shadowy org that now sends him on a mission to kill one of their own. Foster is related to Statham’s latest victim, yet rather than dispose of him Statham recognizes the elements of masochism and disgust in Foster that he knows will make him an excellent killer. So he starts training the young lad. Statham lives in a cool bayou hideaway outside of New Orleans. Much of the film is lensed in the Big Easy including one sequence that takes place in Houston.

Statham feels like he walking in comfortable shoes for this film. It’s an especially good fit after the incredibly stupid The Expendables. The Mechanic is a smarter and more serious film than Expendables or the Transporter series. But The Mechanic still relies on the over the top gunfire and fisticuffs that dominates this kind of film in the current millennium.

My favorite sequence involves Foster being assigned to kill this hulking gay giant over a foot taller than himself. Instead of dropping a deadly poison in the guy’s drink, which is so easy when said guy wanders off to use to bathroom while they are drinking at a bar, Foster instead allows himself to be taken to the guy’s posh pad. Foster is like a puppy dog compared to his guy’s full-grown mastiff terrier. Once at the guy’s apartment, Foster literally fights his mark to the death, getting has ass severely pounded in the process. Natch Foster walks around for the next several scenes so proud of his facial lacerations. That’s what’s so cool about this version of The Mechanic. These guys take their occupations with reverence. Tony Goldwyn and Donald Sutherland co-star.

- Michael Bergeron

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