It’s hard to believe, now that it takes a while to lump my carcass up four flights of stairs, but there was a time in my youth when I was quite the athlete. At 15, I was ranked in the top ten in the UK as a hurdler – which is kind of sad since today I’d have difficulty climbing over the sofa. I recount this admittedly somewhat unlikely piece of personal history because it is the real, honest and true reason that I heart Jason Statham: the way he runs is poetic. And Jase is back and running about a lot, in his sassy new B-thriller, The Mechanic – a remake of a 70’s Charles Bronson movie of the same name. He plays a wily assassin who takes a troubled drifter under his wing, and teaches him to also kill: so, a good family film, then.
It does stand out however because of some cracking casting: Donald Sutherland as the kindly old mentor, Tony Goldwyn as the slick-but-treacherous executive and Ben Foster as the angry young man. They all kind of obvious, and therefore they all fit into place sort of perfectly – and of course Ben Foster does louche, creepoid, dangerous folk on the edge of a nervous breakdown before the rest of us have had breakfast. Throw in some thundering fistfights, some gun slinging, some classical music, a beautiful hooker with a kindly heart – and of course Jason Statham’s staggering torso – and you’ve got the makings of a thoroughly unchallenging but entirely entertaining 88 minutes.
Louisiana is the main location, in and around New Orleans and out in the bayou around St. Tammany Parish. (Tammany was an Indian Chief and not an actual Saint – though I’m guessing if he navigated his Choctaw people through colonisation he must’ve had the patience of one). Visitor info here.