A remake of the 1972, Charles Bronson film of the same name, this is exactly how the movie would have and should have got made in 2011.
Dean Sanderson (Tony Goldwyn, Ghost, The Last Samurai) & Harry Mckenna (Donald Sutherland) are partners of an anonymous corporate, undertaking contract killings. One of their ace assassin, also known as mechanic is Arthur Bishop (Jason Stathom). He prides in the fact that the success of his job, lies in his dialogue "The best jobs are the ones nobody ever knew you were there." After carrying out a hit on a Columbian drug lord, killing him in the swimming pool, he is hired by Dean to kill Harry, for a job gone wrong in Cape Town, which Dean believes was a sold-off by Harry. Due to Harrys kinship with Bishop, Bishop is able to deceive Harry easily, before killing him. Harrys no good son, Steve (Ben Foster, X-Men The Last Stand, Hostage, Alpha Dog) wants to avenge his fathers death by killing off all possible car jackers. An attempt which is foiled by Bishop. Now, Bishop, out of guilt, takes Steve under his mentorship, to train him in the business of killing. After a couple of assignments, the two develop a particularly odd bond. One out for revenge, one for redemption.
Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Con Air, The Generals Daughter) does not mess with the subject of the original Bronson film, but adds his touch to it. He presents the film in such a manner, wherein past a point the viewer tends to live the tension. Seeing Steves character deviate from the path as shown by Bishop, and adding his own twisted touch to it, Steve comes across as a maniac killer in the making. A process, which is clinical for Bishop, becomes enjoyable for Steve. The climax, did have me on my seat, when Steve realizes the true identity of his fathers killer. Along with Mark Ishams background score, and gritty cinematography by Eric Schmidt, The Mechanic is a treat to watch because there is nothing new in the subject, so it all boils down to the treatment. Love the slo-mo action pieces, very old school.
Donald Sutherland as the crippled Harry plays a good cameo. One can see the pity in his eyes when Bishop confronts him. Goldwyn as the cunning Dean is given a positive shade as a caring father. Ben Foster as the drifter son plays the part to perfection. His initial vulnerability, his attempted bravado with Burke and then the transformation to a calculated killer, is scary. Ever since the truth dawns upon him, there is a certain unpredictable uneasiness, which keeps you praying to avoid the inevitable. His dead pan eyes add a certain amount of menace
Stathom as the ruthless killer, plays a part, oft played by him. He is efficient, smart, nimble on his toes. His entire persona is more of a street fighter rather than Bond. He is the best possible person for this genre. His lack of emotions, be it while killing his victims or during his one night stands with his regular hooker (Mini Anden).
If you like action flicks, which are not heavy on the head and with moderate performances, then you will enjoy this film. There are quite a few dialogues in the film which remind you of the 70s, action thrillers, especially Deans threat to Bishop Im going to put so much money on your head that when you look in the mirror, your reflection is going to want to shoot you.
Does it have The Y Factor: Yes