The Mechanic is an amoral tale of assassination, betrayal and revenge. Arthur Bishop, played by Jason Statham, is a mechanic, a euphemism for a hit man. The master mechanic’s apprentice is Steve McKenna, played by Ben Foster.
The majority of the movie is set in New Orleans, where Bishop lives in seclusion in a waterfront bachelor pad, with a metal swamp boat and an assortment of sweet rides. For the most part he is morally detached from his work. He sees it as a job, not thinking of the people he kills after the job is done.
This pattern of jobs continues until he is assigned a job killing his mentor Harry McKenna, played by Donald Sutherland. Killing his wheelchair clad friend of many years presents one of the first moral quandaries Bishop faces in his career. Despite his reservations, Bishop carries out his assignment.
Harry’s son, Steve, is unaware that Bishop is the one that killed his father and seeks out Bishop as his new mentor. Bishop is reluctant to take on the role. Eventually he is convinced that he owes it to Steve to do him this favor.
One way in which Bishop does the right thing is to steer Steve away from killing an anonymous carjacker out of revenge. Bishop knows who killed Steve’s father and he does not want Steve to make this unnecessary, dangerous choice. They form a professional bond and help each other make it through the rough fights that liven up the action of the middle of the story. Without spoiling the story too much it is safe to say that The Mechanic has its share of surprises.
While attempts are made to portray Bishop as being guided in his assassinations by a mechanic’s code of ethics, it is obvious that the overriding theme is in the gunfire, the explosions, and the body count. Being a religious person, it was hard at times to not look away from the screen.
In a supporting role Tony Goldwyn plays Dean Sanderson, Bishop’s powerful executive boss. In an almost token role as Bishop’s sexual interest, Mini Anden plays Sarah.
The Mechanic is Rated R for good reason. The movie is filled with strong, sometimes chilling violence. There is an abundance of gratuitous sex, including prostitution and a homo-erotic scene. The dialogue is laced from beginning to end with what some people consider offensive language. If this sort of thing bothers or offends you, maybe this film isn’t right for you. Although, if you like action and excitement The Mechanic is an explosive diversion.