The Mechanic is ham-fisted pulp, like Robert Rodriguez's Machete taking itself seriously.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
A sputtering remake in need of a more powerful recharge.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
The first legitimate action film of 2011.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
"The Mechanic," 2011 edition, is a striking-looking work, combining an arty inkiness with a retro-graininess that more or less screams 1970s, albeit without the cliches and flatness. If only you liked the people in the picture.
John Anderson - Washington Post
An intermittently arresting, mostly standard action entry that deals death noisily more than cleverly - a lot like the original.
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
Mr. Statham, the specialist in English tough guys who was so affecting in "The Bank Job," has more to offer than "The Mechanic" has the grace to receive.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The Mechanic is my kind of action movie: nasty, brutish, brisk and ass-kicking.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
Statham is a model of control; he's steely and graceful in his action scenes, and his interplay with the wiry Foster delivers the goods.
Bruce Diones - New Yorker
"The Mechanic" tells a story as old as "Hamlet" in a style as new as unbaked bread. What's the point?
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Let's not denigrate the term "action film" by applying it to the remake signed by director Simon West. This is a violence film, not an action film.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
While that pop mythology was still relatively fresh back in Bronson's day, it's so played out at this point that not even the enjoyably no-nonsense Statham can pump any life into it.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
It's about gunplay and pricey sports cars bursting into flames while three or four cameras capture the moment. In slo-mo. Cue the cool music.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Jason Statham needs to get a tune-up, switch gears and hit the gas.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Statham is, in his understated way, a satisfying action star, stoically going about his business. Foster is just a flat-out good actor, as anyone who saw his work in "The Messenger" or "3:10 to Yuma" can attest.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
The Mechanic is like a Beretta loaded with blanks -- quick and brutal but ultimately empty.
Una LaMarche - New York Observer
It proves middling, and occasionally muddled, on almost every level.
Brian Lowry - Variety
Considerably more fun than the rather lethargic original.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Standard Statham stuff.
Greg Quill - Toronto Star
There just isn't enough consistent energy to light up the glum, generic plot or enliven the one-dimensional performances.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
The Arthur/Steve relationship at the movie's heart is what lifts The Mechanic above the common run of kablammo! action thrillers.
Dana Stevens - Slate
The Mechanic is adequate light entertainment for those who enjoy thrillers, but it is uneven and the underwhelming ending will disappoint those who enjoyed the delicious irony served up by its predecessor.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Frantic, numbing redo of the Charles Bronson original for hardcore Statham and action fans only.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
Statham, the British star of the Transporter and Crank films and an old favorite of Guy Ritchie, has a quietly fierce physicality, a stylish masculinity that makes him appealing to both men and women.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The interplay between dry Arthur and crazy, caustic Steve is what makes the movie fun.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
The result is just good enough to pass as an action flick you watch with the forgiving gaze that comes from too many beers and too little sleep.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
A brainless and easily-forgettable thriller.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
Somewhat faithful to the original, but a stupendously violent fiasco that weasels its way into being unlikable.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
[Simon West] goes for headshots, stabbings and other dispatches that are the antithesis of modern PG-13 action filmmaking.
Adam Ross - The Aristocrat
If you're looking for substance, character development, and an engaging storyline, you'll sadly be disappointed as this film is seriously lacking in all three of those areas.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Kevin Jagernauth - The Playlist
Statham, he of the chiseled physique and sexily receding hairline, holds his own here, doing what he has to in scenes and no more -- which is perfect for a movie like this.
Statham has slowly become this generations' Bruce Willis, combining a quiet and sly screen persona with the ability to kick major ass when called upon
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
The Mechanic will be a decent time-killer for Statham fans, but it's another black mark against the name of director Simon West.
Matt Neal - The Standard
... a minor pleasure to see an action film that makes a virtue of lean, mean action stripped to the essence.
Sean Axmaker - MSN.com
A passable, but emotionally empty, action film that fails to capitalize on its interesting characters.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Jason Statham is quickly becoming the 21st century's Bruce Willis -- I am convinced that when the apocalypse comes, the only things left surviving on the planet will be cockroaches and this Derbyshire-born bloke.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
It never pretends like it's going to be anything more or better than what you expect, and it never gives you anything less than totally entertaining gun blasting, car crashing and face smashing. Lots of it.
Dave White - Movies.com
In the end, The Mechanic proves that while revenge is a dish best served cold, revenge movies are best served with fire in the belly.
Matthew Pejkovic - FILMINK (Australia)
If you enjoy senseless and creative slaughter, the sound of gunfire, the sweet embrace of explosions and the well-muscled-testicle-like visage of Jason Statham, then this movie may well be for you.
Luke Ryan - The Vine
Statham has my respect for two reasons: 1) he's one of the few remaining action stars who isn't claiming his pension, and 2) he has yet to star in a Disney movie in which he must babysit projectile-vomiting children.
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
Statham convincingly breaks faces with effortless ease. It's as if he studied at The Lee Strasberg Institute of Badassery. He is the Stanislavski of neck-stomping.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Some slack was needed for hard edged thriller The Mechanic to truly blossom into a thing of brutal beauty, rather than the cold action film presented before us.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
It's a boys' movie with a big bang finish
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The assassin gets a conscience in this fast-paced action thriller that offers a few interesting twists between its huge stunts,"
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Am I the only one who wouldn't mind seeing Jason Statham play something besides a coolly efficient butt kicking machine?
Pete Vonder Haar - Houston Press
A serviceable, if brutal assassin action pic whose formula flaws are easy to overlook with Jason Statham and Ben Foster involved.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
A substantial improvement over its impossibly dull predecessor...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Clinging to false heroism and terrified of anything too dark, The Mechanic is a tough-guy movie for wimps.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
'The Mechanic' is kind of a remake of a 1970s-era Charles Bronson movie. And it's kind of a vehicle for Jason Statham, who has cemented his reputation as a tough-guy action star in the 'Transporter' and 'Crank' series.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Its black heart is in the right place.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Ramping up the action, and forsaking a bit of credibility, may seem like a cop-out, but it's an enjoyable one all the same, albeit, hardly groundbreaking as action films go.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
The Mechanic provides a killer fix for a boring afternoon.
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
takes a few moments for social commentary in the form of a zaftig cult leader with a weakness for double-fudge cake and 18-year-olds, but the point of the exercise is a rollicking good time
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Yet one more formula flick about a taciturn killer who, despite his penchant for slaying and maiming, actually turns out to be the kind of nice guy you might consider Friending on Facebook.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Tomb Raider maestro Simon West's remake of the 1972 action thriller can't be bothered with nuance, intrigue, or piquant detail.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
A mixture of hackneyed script, explicit violence and a plot with no thrust.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Exceedingly violent action remake also has sex, drinking.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
[The] plot feels like a standard issue R-rated action picture from the 1970s, which is not a good thing when the current year is 2011.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Nobody delivers the action thriller goods better than Jason Statham
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
If the action didn't work, it would be as forgettable as the film that spawned it. But Simon West's shiny and swift direction, inspired by Tony Scott sensationalism and invigorated by a Louisiana blues score, just about manages to grip.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
Like the original, it is a moody, atmospheric film, one boasting significantly more depth than your typical blow-'em-up.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
A solid, unremarkable action movie and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
It's nuts-and-bolts action cinema, of the kind that does a job come Saturday night: on the Stath-o-meter, nothing so delirious as Crank, but a marked improvement on the Transporters.
Mike McCahill - Scotsman
Won't win any prizes at charm school but delivers the goods.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
An efficient thriller with certain intellectual pretensions.
Contains the line: "I'm gonna put a price on your head so big, when you look in the mirror your reflection's gonna want to shoot you in the face." That's pure action-movie dialogue poetry. No way am I not giving a film with that in it a thumbs up.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Ben Foster knows how to simmer as well as go berserk on camera with the best of them, and his performance here gives him plenty of opportunity to show off those acting chops.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
This is pulp fiction territory, where torturing people to get information is par for the course, and opening fire may summon your victim's bodyguards but never the police.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Check your brain at the door and enjoy.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
If you are the best of the best, it's probably not a good idea to add a drunk psychopath as your partner.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
There's nothing to the plot and to describe in detail the action scenes would take the fun out of the experience for action fans who couldn't care less what the story's about anyway.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
I feel more comfortable forking over my twelve dollars for a movie by Jason Statham than I do for a movie by just about anyone else.
Matt Singer - IFC.com
The remake of The Mechanichas no guts at all. It wants to make a happy, shiny, feel-good hit man movie while pretending to be all badass.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
The Mechanic threatens to deviate from the Statham Action Movie Template, but only for about 40 minutes.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
The 2011 film, by comparison, is a tightly wound, more stylish creature.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The new stunts are explosive, over-the-top and a sign of the times -- action fans aren't happy these days, it seems, unless at least one scene involves a jackknifing 18-wheeler and a fireball.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The Mechanic is well acted and provides plenty of gunfights and explosions but the action sequences are underwhelming, the plot lacks focus and the overall effect is disappointing.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
This is a movie you seek out for action rather than acting and character development. It provides a great escape from the winter doldrums.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
The Mechanic is revenge served up well enough to blast the winter blues away.
Elias Savada - Film Threat
The auteur who gave us Con Air... is back, extending his cinema terrible of violent, unthinking nihilism and brutal, pointless action. Oh, and misogyny for fun. Hoorah!
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Even by the sloppy, soulless standards of hit man movies, "The Mechanic" is a mess.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Statham has at least three more movies coming out this year. I bet at least one of them will be better.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Director Simon West makes Statham and Foster sexy, sexy, ruthless killers. I want this to be Statham's next franchise. Foster sexiness vibrates through a lousy haircut, bad facial hair, and a creepy cap.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
While I wouldn't go so far as to call The Mechanic truly dull, it's definitely missing what has made other Statham action vehicles stand out so well: creativity.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
Donald Sutherland and Ben Foster: you're so good you're distracting me from the film.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Watching Statham in action is always worth the price of admission.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
If Bronson moved to the cadence of a death march, a drawn-out requiem for an executioner losing his taste for the work, Statham's hurtles toward a climax that's less diabolical but more satisfying.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Betrayal, sympathy and regret are central to the story, but there's hardly any room for such feelings amid the clockwork carnage.
Mark Jenkins - NPR
The Mechanic is marked by relentless blood-letting and violence, with in-your-face crashes and explosions and all the other wild-eyed and utterly illogical activity that makes good action/adventure so exhilarating to watch.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
The elements were in place to do much better, and The Mechanic eventually succumbs to its lost potential.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A weak script and a fumbled climax seriously deflate what could have been an explosive thriller.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
Despite all his high-octane assignments, the only imperfection Statham receives is the crow's feet on his face. That's because his invincible shield protects him from all the rest of the body-razing annihilation that his person should have endured.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
Granted, this is not Oscar material, and it is very violent, but I enjoyed it for what it is --- a fast-paced, shoot-em-up that's meant to help you forget the winter doldrums
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It's all a bit convoluted and preposterous, but Statham and especially Foster make a great tandem of assassins.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
If you've already seen the Bronson vehicle that was released almost 40 years ago (or if you're an action fan in general) you won't be in for many surprises, but that doesn't mean the new rendition is lacking in entertainment value or nail-biting suspense.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
...a thrill ride, running on an empty tank.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
A solid if unnecessary and compromised remake of the 1972 existential hitman thriller...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Mindless brutal mayhem, signifying very little
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
'The Mechanic is your basic action movie - earning its R-rating via sex, nudity and violence. Everything you could ask for, other than an engaging story or characters that will keep you interested throughout the entire film.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
There is a line of dialogue said by Tony Goldwyn's character that is worth the entire price of admission! Other than that, the rest of the film is mediocre at best.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
Jason Statham, with his growling, British accent and his working class looks, is one of the best action heroes in years, and he steps easily into Charles Bronson's shoes.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Jason Statham doesn't stretch much as an actor. He doesn't have to. His taciturn delivery and bullet-headed intensity make him the perfect star for the current amped-up trend in action movies.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
How much longer can Statham keep afloat unremarkable action pictures? Will he ever burst out of his comfort zone and surprise us?
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
The Company Men with guns, but no families or pensions. All they have is their job, and retirement literally equals death.
Brian Miller - L.A. Weekly
Glitzy trash, a violent bauble so ludicrous and over-the-top that it reeks of Luc Besson's influence.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
...services its action like an insensitive lover - hard, rough and fast. But its one-night-stand approach to the genre probably won't attract the loyalty Luc Besson's seductively Euro-trashy Transporter flicks have earned.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
If you called it dumb fun, you'd be half right.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Less frenetic than your usual Jason Statham action franchise film, this remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson/Jan-Michael Vincent vehicle is more of the kind of character-driven suspense audiences often say they want.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Credit this action flick with self-awareness: It doesn't try to dazzle with deep meditations on aging assassins filled with regret. This is a movie devoted to celebrating mayhem, which it does with straightforward flair.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
With "The Mechanic," Statham has found a vehicle nicely suited to his narrow but nevertheless real talents.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
This is a superficially chic offering, which skips along pacily enough but leaves very little impression.
Trevor Johnston - Radio Times
The film doesn't break a centimeter of new ground, but its stripped-down mayhem and more-nuanced-than-necessary performances are a modest surprise.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Haven't we already had enough movies about solitary, enigmatic hit men? Is there anything possibly left to do with the genre that's new?
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
To the extent it makes sense, it's a collection of time-honored cliches, and to the extent that it's original, "The Mechanic" is insane, bordering on gloriously insane.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Adding more explosions and gunplay doesn't make the story any more interesting.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Why hire Simon West and then not let him try to make another Con Air? That's just cruel, for all concerned.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
As a January time-waster you could do worse, but it's long past time to start demanding more of this genre than shoddily-written revenge stories shot with the bungee cam.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
The only hitman movie I've ever seen that has a "taking your puppy to a coffee shop" montage.
Adam Lippe - Examiner.com
What are we supposed to take away from the film? Director Simon West would probably prefer that we not bother to think about it, or anything, at all.
Not nearly as fun as an action movie starring Jason Statham from the director of "Con Air" should be.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
West's slick, fairly faithful new remake gives partial screenplay credit to Lewis John Carlino, who wrote the original "Mechanic." But the picture isn't likely to do for Jason Statham what the 1972 film did for Bronson.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
Overly stylized and slick, with a few moments of brutal simplicity.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
...may be preposterous at times, but it exudes style and swagger.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Over the past decade or so, Jason Statham has morphed from French Connection clothes-horse to Brit-pic also-ran to international action hero - and after sitting through The Mechanic I can semi-see why.
Engineered to do exactly what you want: smash, crash and gurn. Another B-movie franchise for The Stath? Quite possibly.
Jonathan Crocker - Total Film
Slick, swift and edgy enough to keep you glued.
Tom Seymour - Little White Lies
When it comes to the vehicle of an action movie, Statham is a first-rate mechanic.
Rick Bentley - Fresno Bee
People who think they don't make movies like they used to should check out The Mechanic, a persuasive replica of a 1970s B-film with much of the same genre splatter.
Jay Stone - Canada.com
To paraphrase Roger Murtaugh, 43-year-old Jason Statham might be getting too old for this bone-crunching, head-smashing, action-thriller nonsense
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
There's really no clear reason why a remake was warranted or why Statham, so exquisitely calibrated to action-comedy weirdness, would sign on to rehash the (far better) past glories of humorless Seventies action flicks.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Statham and Foster play off each other nicely, and director Simon West strikes a playful balance between carnage and conviviality, gore and gregariousness.
Josh Modell - AV Club
It's a fairly entertaining action flick, fun for the superficial swill that it is.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
A sleek, brutally succinct thriller that showcases Jason Statham's sly talent for being just that little bit better than he has to be in roles that favor brawn over brains.
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
The movie has about as much of a story and character motivation as the video game Pac-Man, but that's OK.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
A mechanic seems like a thinking man's occupation. The Mechanic, though, barely has a thought in its head.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
'The Mechanic' is the prototypical early year action movie-nothing more and nothing less. Statham, who again plays an infallible, lethal bad-ass, seems to have carved his niche as the current go-to guy for B-movie action flicks.
Jeff Otto - cinemaobsession.com
Depth of character is an afterthought: The principal dilemma our heroes face is, how best to eliminate the next faceless goon that enters our path? To which the answer invariably is: Use the gun.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
The new version delivers in a far more conventional way, but it does deliver.
Andy Klein - Brand X
While The Mechanic doesn't retool the formula of a hit man movie, it certainly serves it up better than expected.
Jim Vejvoda - IGN Movies
Mostly, The Mechanic creaks and groans as it goes through the motions, and not even its lavish violence -- which includes much smashing of heads and a nasty screwdriver stabbing -- is particularly electrifying.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
The Mechanic has the right tone for an action movie. The characters take it all seriously, but the story just goes wildly over the top for the sake of creating awesome set pieces.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
When it's smashing up the joint, repelling from skyscrapers, or spraying bullets, the film is hypnotic, deploying a sure hand of violence that keeps matters visceral, splattering blood everywhere.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
That scowl on Jason Statham's face may not have budged a millimetre since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but his latest action flick proves that his grim Cockney-lout routine can still be plenty effective.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
Sure, we've seen the whole "criminal caught in a moral crisis" before. Luckily, this time around, everyone ignores the ethos and just kicks ass.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Despite the dependably uber-cool presence of Jason Statham, The Mechanic doesn't wield enough inventiveness or attitude to fix its overriding sense of familiarity.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Expecting logic from the director of the wonderful Con Air is not the wisest move, yet Simon West frequently depicts events in such a baffling manner that one wonders whether someone snuck into the editing suite with a pair of scissors.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
Based on the 1972 thriller starring Charles Bronson, this Mechanic is a far more nuts and bolts job, eschewing the surreal atmosphere of Michael Winner's original.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Depth of character is traded for bloody broad strokes.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
A summer popcorn flick for the winter: This loose remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson actioner is an unpretentious generic feature that delivers the basic goods and serves as suitable star vehicle for Jason Statham
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
With its unrelenting violence and obligatory bonking sessions, this is one for avid 'Stath' fans only.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Better than The Transporter but not as much fun as Crank.
David Hughes - Empire Magazine
If more dutiful than dynamic, it does fix what was previously broke, making over its subpar predecessor into a generic yet serviceable Statham vehicle.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
You won't get better than average with The Mechanic, you'll get exactly average.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
An impressively made action drama that is tense, exciting and excellently performed.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
[VIDEO] Anything you do, don't underestimate "The Mechanic." This is one badass movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com