The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: CBS Films - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Action, Crime
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jason Statham, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, James Logan
Directed by: Simon West
Music by: Mark Isham
Written by: Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 17, 2011
"Someone has to fix the problems."
Arthur Bishop is a ‘mechanic’ – an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It’s a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed – he wants those responsible dead.
'The Mechanic' is a by the numbers action/revenge flick. The 'gotcha' of who the real bad guy is was as obvious as could be, and coupling that with the amazing dynamic range of master thespian Jason Statham, we are sure to be in for a cinematic treat, right??
In all fairness, the movie had a few redeeming values; mainly the performance by Ben Foster (Pandorum). Foster plays Steve McKenna, the son of Aurthor Bishop's (Jason Statham) newly killed mentor, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland). Foster stole the movie from under Statham, who's rinse-repeat version of acting has started to really wear thin. From here the plot is a fairly simple one, never going as intricate as I was hoping a film about one of the most lethal and intelligent killers for hire would and could go. Aurthur takes Steve under his wing, in what could be described as a less then creative version of "wax the car", and the two set out to find out who killed Harry.
I have not seen the 1974 original, staring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. From what I gleaned from my talented googling skills, that version is said to be far superior to this remake. I also assume they added in a lot of gratuitous violence here, just to try to 'step-it-up' a notch. For as much as I felt the film was a let down, I was captivated enough, mainly by Foster's character, a couple of decent action pieces and a superlative A/V presentation. Don't expect any depth, emotion or connection to the characters, or a plot that takes any brain power. This is truly mindless popcorn entertainment that needs a lot of extra butter.
Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
I really enjoyed Sony's A/V presentation with 'The Mechanic'. The film had a natural look to it, with a nice vail of grain, keeping a cinematic feel. Flesh-tones and the general color palette were a bit warm, but never looking overly stylized. Details were striking, and combining that with the strong blacks and the palpable grain, made this a sharp and borderline reference release. The DTS-HD MA is an aggressive action mix, really utilizing the effect channels to suck the viewer in. The score by Mark Isham was a standout, widening the front sound-stage, really sounding in command. The low end was accurate and tight, digging big and deep when called upon. Dialogue was always intelligible, and things always sounded properly placed in the mix. Another stellar job by Sony Home Entertainment.
- (HD) Deleted & Extended Scenes
- (HD) Tools of the Trade: Inside the Action
- (HD) Trailers: Faster, Battle L.A., Insidious, Quarantine 2: Terminal
For as much as I felt let down by this remake of 1972's 'The Mechanic', I was captivated enough, mainly by Ben Foster's acting, a couple of decent action pieces and a superlative A/V presentation from Sony. Don't expect any depth, emotion or connection to the the characters (courtesy of Jason Statham's 'Mechanic'-al acting), or a plot that takes any brain power. I would suggest a rental to enjoy it on your system, but thats as much mileage as I fell 'The Mechanic' can give.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Cinema 5 200 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"