Contraband/Chronicle (2012) Review

Both of these reviews are long overdue and I honestly forgot about both of them so I just decided to combine them into two mini-reviews.

Contraband
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, J.K Simmons
Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur 
Rated: R

Here’s a movie that is such major wasted opportunity, the fact that it’s the remake of a foreign film is even more depressing. Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris Farraday, reformed criminal and family man who used to be the world’s best smuggler. Once his young brother-in-law blows a job for the ridiculously cajun-accented Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) he must perform one last job. (Cue eye roll) I’ll give Wahlberg the benefit of the doubt and defend him as an actor because when he wants to be, he’s charming, likable, and a believable badass, but in movies like Contraband, his character is as flimsy as a sheet of cardboard. His character might as well be named Mark Wahlberg.  The movie is so A to B you know exactly what’s going to happen at the end in Act 1, which leaves the rest of the film devoid of tension and suspense. Wahlberg’s character is so good at what he does and so infallible that I never doubted that everything would work out for one second, even at the end of the film everything works out and Wahlberg walks away unscathed with all his problems solved, no repercussions and coming out ahead even richer than before without even knowing it. Must be nice. Even when there’s a shocking moment involving what might be a lead character’s death, it turns out they are actually perfectly fine. ugh. The movie is so afraid to not please it’s audience it takes no risks and tidies everything in a nice little bow and then bakes a cake on top it. Even the movie ends on the song “Boom Boom Boom Boom.” The film is a remake of the icelandic film “Reykjavik-Rotterdam” starring the director of Contraband. Maybe on a smaller scale with unknown actors the story flourishes but with a bigger budget, and well-known actors the story is just running through the motions. Even with a cast of extremely talented character actors like Foster, Ribisi, J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas, and Diego Luna, it’s sad to see their teaming up led to something so mediocre and unoriginal. My biggest complaints? I seemed to be the only audience member to recognize a Jackson Pollock painting in the film, and Central America should really get some good sporting goods stores because those duct-tape face masks must be a pain-in-the ass to remove.

Rating: 4/10

Chronicle
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan
Directed by: Josh Trank
Rated: PG-13

It was just a matter of time before the found-footage genre broke away from horror films and tackled other sub-genres.  The superhero genre only seemed like a logical choice. An original superhero story mixed with the found footage aspect by using the excuse that kids document everything is a legitimate reason that works for a majority of the time. Cleverly dissecting superhero and modern teenage archetypes is a testament to Max Landis’ Large scale story told on a smaller budgeted scale. The use of practical effects, the simplistic storyline, and the likability of the three relatively unknown leads is what really pumps the heart of this film. DeHaan as the outcast Andrew and Jordan as the ultra-popular Steve are standouts and actually create a believable friendship between the three leads, making it feel realistic from the discovering of their superpowers to their inevitable downfall. The characters gain telepathic abilities that give reason for the camera floating around at different angles along side them but my biggest question was why? Obviously the film is footage recorded from a digital video camera so you can get away with creative low-budget CGI, but I thought the story was compelling enough on it’s own then always wonder the reasoning for a camera recording an intimate conversation. The last action set-piece is vicersal and clever but becomes too contrived in trying to discover different ways of having footage recorded from obscene angles. Smaller intimate moments like when the three friends pull pranks telepathically and when Dane’s character pulls a spider apart with his mind is when the movie has it’s brightest moments. I enjoyed Chronicle way more than I should have and surprisingly really enjoyed the three leads and where the story went, and serves as an interesting experiment, but please: No sequels, although I wouldn’t have minded a longer cut of the Jessie J – Price Tag singalong.

Rating: 7/10

Immortals (2011) Review

Immortals
Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, John Hurt
Directed by: Tarsem Singh
Rated: R

 

Who knew that when the movie 300 came to theaters and blew people’s minds that we’d be hit with a barrage of highly-stylized, ultraviolet, sword and sandal epics. I don’t know how it is for most people but for me no matter how good the visuals are, it means diddly when you aren’t invested in the story whatsoever. A good example would be Tree of Life, whose stunning visuals were backed behind a meaningful, philosophical drama, while Transformers: Dark of the Moon had stunning visuals backed by GQ/Victoria’s Secret Models running and jumping.

Immortals, based on more of myth than truth is the story of Thesues (Henry Cavill), a poor man chosen by the God Zeus to lead a fight against the ruthless King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who seeks to find an arrow that can kill Gods and also help him conquer the known world. 

If I could give this movie a mathematical equation it would probably be something like (“300” + “Clash of the Titans” divided by A lot of CGI backgrounds and funny looking hats multiplied by Mickey Rourke) = Immortals. If you took the graphic violence and underlying homo-eroticism of 300 and mixed it with the mythical creatures and gods and goddesses from Clash of the Titans you would get this hybrid baby of a film with even more amped up slow-mo, blood splatter, and cheesy effects. It’s not a complete waste. The movie is fun to look at and more often than not the background looks like the 1970’s Clash of the Titans matte painting backgrounds. Although I didn’t see the 3D version, the movie sometimes looked almost too cartoonish and splotchy even though it was still visually interesting. The sound design/mix is also worth noting because I felt like my ears were bleeding for a majority of  the film. The bass and sound are so loud, so jarring, I probably jumped more during Immortals than Paranormal Activity. Director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) is great at making films that look like visual paintings but this film seemed like he blew his load too much and focused more on the VFX than the story it was supporting.

I can’t really fault Immortals because it revels in exactly the kind of film it knows it is, but unfortunately I wish the film pushed to be even more different than the films people will be reminded of. (300 etc.) A brief snippet near the end of the film consisting of Gods slashing eachother while gravity has them aimlessly float through the clouds of the heavens is a fantastic shot and wish there was more of that than the a major been-there, done-that battle scene taking place in a hallway, of course begun by the cliche inspirational speech. Cavill fits the role of Thesues and has alot of potential as “Superman” but his role is so one-dimensional he becomes just as much eye-candy as the background itself. One of the redeeming qualities is the ridiculous casting of Mickey Rourke, who slurps fruit, wears more silly hats than a British nanny, and pretty much goes out of his way to violently torture someone in any scene where he’s alone with another character. He plays King Hyperion but feels more like Mickey Rourke stuck in ancient Greece. This is not necessarily a bad thing, he is a great on-screen villain and my face lit up every-time he appeared. He has the right mix of grotesque psychicality and dark presence that dare I say made the film a tad more fun. The rest of the cast plays it completely straight-faced and serious, including a Teen Beat cast of characters playing the Gods, that argue in the heavens like it’s a high school after school-special. Freida Pinto who was wonderful in Slumdog Millionaire unfortunately falls to the same fate as her character in this summer’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and is nothing more than a throwaway love interest who seems important at first and then disappears for long periods of time.

I like “Immortals” way more than the abysmal “Clash of the Titans” but it was too serious and too excessively filthy to be really enjoyable. The direction, visuals, acting, and story all have potential but the movie struggles to be any different from any other sword and sandals epic movie. Besides a few great VFX shots and random moments of shocking violence, Immortal is unfortunately the last adjective I’d use to describe the interest people will have in this film.

Rating: 5/10

Netflix Watch Instantly: Halloween Recommendations

 

As much as people complain about the lacking titles on Netflix streaming. I believe there is a great wide variety of titles especially underrated genre films. So Halloween is the perfect time to set aside your worn out copy of  The Nightmare before Christmas and expand your horizons.

DEMONIC POSSESSION

The Exorcist:

The epitome of Horror and usually the one that gets the most recognition as being one of the scariest movies of all time. For good reasons too, the movie still holds up today as a creepy, skin-crawling tale of a young girl possessed by the devil and the two priests who try to exorcise her. It’s hard pressed to find a horror fan who doesn’t have this on their list of scariest films of all time.

Double-feature it with:

The Last Exorcism:

Not in the same league as “The Exorcist” but one of the better demon possession films to come out recently, this film has been overlooked and underrated especially since 2/3rds of the film aren’t really that scary. Another entry in the found footage genre about a Priest named Cotton (Played with tremendous charisma by Patrick Fabian) who has a documentary crew film his final exorcism. Cotton has used exorcism as a magic trick to have a placebo effect on people with psychological problems but calls his faith into question when a young girl may be really possessed or mentally disturbed. An interesting watch that may not be what people expect.

ZOMBIE NATION

Night of the Living Dead:

The original zombie film. Like “The Exorcist” paved the way for many films in its genre. The black and white gives the movie a timeless quality that is still creepy and haunting to watch. Everyone knows the story and the outcome but it is still arguably George A. Romero’s greatest achievement.

Double-feature it with:

Dead Snow:

A modern pick, but there are what seems like literally thousands of B-level zombie films on Netflix. This Norwegian film (yes, there’s subtitles) is a spin on the zombie genre as a group of medical students encounter a group of Nazi zombies frozen since World War II. The film doesn’t offer anything new besides the Nazi angle but it is a fun/entertaining foreign horror film that has some great gory moments.

MODERN DAY SLASHERS

Hatchet:

Instead of the traditional picks of Halloween, Friday the 13th try this modern backwoods slasher that is surprisingly funny as it is unexpectedly gory. Featuring a solid lead from Avatar’s Joel David Moore and cameos from horror legends Tony Todd and Robert Englund. The movie is about a new Orleans swamp tour that runs into Victor Crowley aka the legendary Hatchetface. Not original but helluva lot of fun.

Double-feature it with:

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon:

Speaking of slasher movie tributes this film is another film filled with cameos from Robert Englund, Zelda Rubenstein and Hatchet’s Kane Hodder. The film itself is not gory or bloody but a great deconstruction of the slasher genre when a documentary crew follows a wannabe serial killer. Hilarious especially for horror fanatics.

FIGHT FOR YOUR LIVES

From Dusk Till Dawn:

Not only a great movie but one of my favorite horror films. George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (who wrote the film) are outlaw brothers who kidnap a family to get across the Mexican border and accidentally wind up in a bar run by murderous vampires. Director Robert Rodriguez brings his spaghetti western style with Tarantino’s whip crack dialogue and makes a fun, fast-paced horror film that has memorable turns by Clooney, Harvey Kietel, and Salma Hayek.

Double-feature it with:

Evil Dead:

A low-budget horror classic that launched the careers of Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi. The story of Ash and his friends unleashing an evil force in a cabin in the woods features some great memorable gore, animation and camera shots. Constantly duplicated by others but never matched the brilliance of this film which features a sequel/remake that nearly tops the original in terms of gore and comedy but sadly not on streaming. 😦

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Frozen:

I don’t so much fear ghosts or zombies as a I fear being stuck in one place with no escape. Frozen takes that concept to an extreme as three friends take one last ride on a chairlift at a ski resort and accidentally get left behind as the place shuts down for the weekend. Now stranded as the cold sets in and wolves gather down below them they are forced to decide the lengths they will each go in order to survive. While the movie won’t satisfy everyone it takes a simple concept and pushes it to an extreme length or stomach-churning suspense. The three leads also have a great believable chemistry but it is a definite must-see for those with claustrophobia or fear or heights. Director by Adam Green who also made Hatchet.

Double-feature it with:

Session 9:

This is another film where the location is just as important as the main characters. This overlooked film is about a team asbestos removers who agree to work in an abandoned mental hospital. The movie is not particularly gory or boo-scary but has an unbearable amount of tension, dread, and atmosphere. Also features a pre-CSI David Caruso.

HORROR ANTHOLOGY

Trick r’ Treat:

An overlooked gem that is a perfect Halloween movie. An anthology of interlocking stories feature a school principal who moonlights as a serial killer, a group of kids who play a mean prank, a dark spin on the little red riding hood story, and an old man haunted by a mysterious trick or treater. Anyone who has love for the holiday will enjoy this love letter to the traditions and spirit of Halloween. Also features great turns from Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, and True Blood’s Anna Paquin.

Double-feature it with:

Creepshow:

A horror anthology from Stephen King and George A. Romero inspired by 50’s comics is still equally fun and gross. Featuring great character actors like Ed Harris, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, and Hal Holbrook. The story has a vengeful father on Father’s Day, a farmer who finds a meteor turning everything into plant life, a jealous lover who buries his wife and lover up to their necks on a beach, a creature living in a crate, and a businessman who is attacked by cockroaches. Not every section is a winner but is a pinnacle in 80’s horror cinema.

 

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

 

How Did This Get Made? #2

Well, one of my favorite posts to write was my “How Did This Get Made?” segment about some trailers for upcoming movies that ranged from hilariously awkward (The Chaperone) to Hilariously strange (The Beaver). There has been some great trailers lately but today I saw two trailers that made me cringe so much I had to share them with the world. Watch and rewatch these trailers for some good laughs like I had or be depressed as the hapless void of modern cinema. Maybe we should just hire better editors?

 

Things Fall Apart:


Classify this trailer under car wreck for being so awful, you cannot help but not divert your eyes to the chaos unfolding. Last year, pictures were released of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, looking like a skeleton or Christan Bale in “The Machinist.” It got people talking about 50 Cent branching out in a dramatic role about a football player diagnosed with cancer, that Jackson was basing on a close friend. Early Oscar contender? Maybe. He was being directed by famed blaxploitation director Mario Van Peebles, and co-starring with Ray Liotta as his doctor. The film had all the makings of a potential inspirational, tearjerking, box-office hit…but now the only tears you may cry is of laughter, when you watch the “unofficial” trailer which looks like a student film, shot on a dv camera and edited by a first-time editor. Not only is the sound levels distored (voices too low, music too high) the football scenes look completely bogus, the acting looks over-the-top, and the production design and budget looks to be nonexistent. Not to mention, I couldn’t help but start giggling once they crank up Nelly’s “Just a Dream” through the latter half. Not to mention, the cheesiest after-school-special voice-over I’ve ever heard. Oh, the humanity.

 

Something Borrowed:

Now, here is a film that has potential to actually be good, a romantic comedy, starring the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin and the reliable Kate Hudson, based on a best-selling book. The tickets sell themselves. The movie is a story of a boy and girl who meet in Law School, girl falls for guy, is too shy to tell him how she feels, cue best friend who snatches up said guy and ends up engaged to him….Gasp! how could this possibly play out? On paper, the movie might seem like an original, cutesy love story, but this is just another generic studio romance fodder. The trailer also features all the tell-tale signs of a hollywood studio love triangle romantic comedy. Here are some things to look for.

1. Female best friends, one a wild party-girl, one a nerdy ugly duckling who is actually sexier than the other.
2. A hot guy lead actor with little-to-no personality and or memorable characteristics
3. Supporting comedians as best friends who provide moral compasses but also serve as the slapstick by getting hit in face or balls. (See John Krasinski)
4. A dance sequence
5. The two main characters in love, falling in love and kissing
6. The two main female characters fighting but also making up.
7. A pop song sung by a female solo artist as a background song
8. The main character doing something over-the-top romantic and or childish with the man she’s in love with.

The List goes on….Watch the trailer and see how many romantic comedy cliches you can spot.

 

“Whose Watching this piece of Shit?”

Oscars 2011: Reactions

Well The Oscars came and went and they were a magnificent disappointment. James Franco and Anne Hathaway seemed like a can’t miss pair for Oscar Hosts, and were a huge letdown. They started promisingly but doing one of my favorite award shows parodies and inserting themselves into the nominated movies. Afterward, came one of the most cringe-worthy, poorly-timed monologues in recent history. Anne got picked, because of her charming personality, but also because at a previous ceremony her singing talent was discovered and Franco, was picked because he is an attractive, dramatic performer with excellent comedic timing. Instead of combing those talents, Hathaway only sang in brief, awkward moments, and never stopped mentioning Hugh Jackman, while covering for Franco’s lost puppy dog host, who stared at the audience with glazed eyes, like he just rolled a blunt, and didn’t even try to improvise or be witty, just maintaining a dry tone throughout the ceremony. Personally I think Hathaway could have nailed it on her own without Franco’s dead weight.

 

The night didn’t stop there however, The whole night felt like a slapdash of random events. Ranging from strange and unusual presenters, like the scared and confused Kirk Douglas, and the Extremely busty Oprah Winfrey. The night also featured random moments of scattered scenes of past award winners on a obscure Oscar stage, and random tributes to Bob Hope, and Celine Dieon doing the “In Memorium” song.

On the plus side, most of the right people got there due, albeit being very predictable. Leo, Bale, Portman, and Firth all won acting trophies. My biggest and only shock was that Best Director went to Tom Hooper of the King’s Speech, while up against Fincher (My choice) The Coen’s, Aronofsky, O’ Russell, and a snubbed Christopher Nolan. While the King’s Speech was a great motion picture, the directing wasn’t as on pair with the fellow nominees. The predictions if you kept up with the blog were pretty-spot on, as I predicted about 18 out of 24 (hey, that’s impressive in my opinion) My two biggest wrong answers were Hooper over Fincher for director, and Trent Reznor (My pick to win) beat out my prediction of Desplat for the King’s Speech. I had always intended for The Social Network to win best score but second-guessed myself at the last minute. (that’s what I get) The only other major award that I missed the boat on which was cinematography which early on I predicted Inception, but got convinced by everyone that it was Deakin’s year. Still, I did predict “In a Better World” for foreign language which was a shot in the dark that ended up paying off, because I knew the winner would be a least obvious choice. Although my tally could have been higher if I didn’t go against my gut I still ended up beating Roger Ebert which I guess is a plus. Once again, I was also wrong in the short film predictions. Maybe next year.

 

What Worked:

Anne Hathaway
Jeff Bridges/Sandra Bullock as presenters
The Best Picture nominee montages
The opening parody
No major snubs
Best song performances
Independent films get recognized

What Didn’t Work:

James Franco
Lame/unfunny Presenters
Show had no direction
Kirk Douglas/Oprah as a presenter
Autotuning the Oscars
Lack of Major movie stars in attendance
Random montages for previous winners

Oscars 2011: Live Blog!

  • It’s that time of the year! I just posted my predictions but if u wanna feel like you’re watching with me and hear my remarks, keep refreshing this page!
  • In the hall of the mountain king by Trent reznor to an Oscar nomination montage. Hello awesomeness!
  • 5 minutes in and I love Anne Hathaway and James Franco already.
  • Morgan Freeman yes!
  • Confused why there is a back to the future parody…
  • 10 minutes in and the academy has regretted their hosting choices.
  • And for no random reason…Gone with the Wind!
  • Art direction for Alice in Wonderland! One down!
  • Damn I was guessing Inception to win but everyone convinced me True Grit! I just got Inceptioned! eh inception deserved it.
  • My name is James Franco and I host like a robot…
  • Did they pull Kirk Douglas out of his seat and throw him on stage?
  • Tough category to predict. I’m pulling for Leo you feckin’ queers.
  • Hey everybody look a crazy old man!
  • Best supporting actress is …hugh jackman…?
  • I thought they played people off when they talked too much.
  • Ok Oscars start over…now..
  • How is it possible to make Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis boring to watch?
  • Toy Story 3 wins best Animated feature. *gasp*
  • I wish I could speak like Javier Bardem.
  • Go Sorkin for Social Network!
  • Whoever wrote Sorkin’s acceptance speech should get an Oscar.
  • Great original screenplays nominated but the writer of the King’s Speech deserved it
  • Anne Hathaway singing….break!
  • What’s with all the Hugh Jackman shots tonight?
  • Why do I always feel like Russell Brand Is shouting his jokes at me?
  • Omg I totally guess/predicted In a better World to win and I was right! I rule!
  • Best supporting actor is a category where every nomination I think is deserving.
  • Did someone glue a fake beard onto Christian Bale?
  • Yes Anne Hathaway you danced with Hugh Jackman once shut up about it!
  • I’m pulling for Reznor but suspecting the King’s Speech.
  • Woo! Go Reznor. Amazing score!
  • The guy who just won best score used to sing about Fuckin’ you like an Animal.
  • Does Franco smoke a blunt with each celebrity presenter? Everybody babbles and giggles.
  • Inception wins best Sound bbbbrrrrrruggghhhhhhhhhhhh
  • Um Obama? I’m disappointed he didn’t support Eminem’s Lose Yourself.
  • Cate Blanchett dress fail
  • The Wolfman is officially an Oscar winner.
  • Webster’s dictionary defines a boring speech as this costumer design winner.
  • Um Obama? I’m disappointed he didn’t support Eminem’s Lose Yourself.
  • I have never successfully picked the short film winners ever….
  • Autotuning at the oscars. They’re really reaching for that young audience huh?
  • Oprah at the oscars? Who wants some nomineeeeessss??? You get an Oscar, you get an Oscar, you get an Oscar.
  • Guess we will never see Banksy at the Oscars
  • My twitter is full of people talking about the God of Love kid. He had an afro get over it.
  • Everyone is talking about how bored The Coens were while Oprah talked and I missed it. 😦
  • Oscar Producers: Shit, Franco/Hathaway are tanking, bring out Billy Crystal!
  • I’d totally go gay for Robert Downey Jr. or Jude Law
  • Inception wins best visual effects. nailed it!
  • Social Network wins best editing. Boo-fuckin’-Yah!
  • Damn Florence + The Machine is the go-to performer for awards show. I ain’t complaining.
  • Omg. Gwyneth Paltrow isnt singing “Forget You” for once.
  • Randy Newman won in a category of songs I couldn’t care less about
  • Damn 2010-2011 was a rough year for celebrity/filmmaker deaths
  • Dammit! Tom Hooper over David Fincher! Boo Oscars!
  • Fincher’s directing was the glue that held Social Network together. He deserved it!
  • Great best actress nominations but happy to finally see Natalie Portman get the Oscar.
  • Is Portman going into labor?
  • My complaint about the nomination reels for Best Actress was there wasn’t enough Lesbian scenes
  • Damn I thought they were gonna catch Franco lighting a blunt backstage.
  • If you didn’t think Firth was gonna win Best Actor, you should get punched till you have a stammer
  • I would give a blowjob to whoever edited this best picture movie montage
  • King’s Speech wins best picture. Called it! Social Network still the better movie
  • Oh yay the 5th grade chorus is singing. Pass…

    The Mechanic (2011) Review

    Jason Statham stars in another Transporter sequel. Oh wait, it’s actually a Charles Bronson remake from the 70’s, You’d probably never know it though. Statham maintains his dry, cool personality mixed with a brand of tough guy charisma and real martial-art skill, while he fights, shoots, and kills a bunch of nameless henchman with ridiculous motivations all in the name of the audience getting the most out of their $10 bucks worth at the cinema with some old school action entertainment.It might sound like I’m picking on ol’ J. Statham but it’s quite the opposite. Jason Statham is the closest we have to a modern day Stallone or Schwarzenegger. He gives cheap thrills masked by his chiseled abs and solid screen presence. Plus, Statham sticks to what he knows best, killing and karate chopping, maintaining minimal character development, and splashing us with mucho sex appeal. It’s a formula that is working and he sticks to it, and he’s all the better for it. You won’t see Statham babysitting kids in a family comedy anytime soon.

     

    The movie stars Statham as a hitman aka “mechanic” who kills people in a way that it looks like an accident. After killing his mentor for some reason, by people I never cared to learned the names of, he meets his mentor’s estranged son, who he begins to train in the art of mechanic-ing. Now the concept of a hitman who kills his victims to make it look like accidents is a nice concept for a b-grade action flick. It has alot of potential. The screenplay takes some advantage of it, but ends up resorting to shootouts and fistacuffs. For such a perfect hitman, he ends up in alot of broad daylight action, never hiding his face or fingerprints, and hanging out with a loose cannon, trigger-happy trainee, whom causes Statham’s character boatloads of messy situations that don’t seem to affect him at all, even though he is completely disregarding everything he is teaching. Speaking of which, Ben Foster plays his young trainee and like usual, he definitely brings on the crazy. Foster is an odd actor,  he always plays the psychotic supporting characters in films, but the thing about his psychosis is that he still has a likeable persona regardless of his crazy eyes and expressions. Foster drinks, shoots, and smokes his way through the movie and is actually a good foil for Statham’s quiet and cold hitman character. The two make an intriguing duo and are fun to watch onscreen.

    However, I did think it was amazing that spending a few weeks with Statham, Foster’s character had the stealth and precision of a NAVY SEAL. The only other character worth mentioning is Donald Sutherland in a throwaway role as Foster’s Dad and Statham’s mentor, who does something, I’m not quite sure what, but it makes the villians angry and also sits in a wheelchair. The Only reason I can think of having that character trait is when he signed on to the movie, he stipulated that he would act as long as he didn’t have to stand up at all. For all its negatives though, the movie is a nice little 90 minute action flick. The setup and climax are all by-the-numbers if you are familiar with the action genre. The main reason to see the film is that it does succeed in giving satisfying action sequences. One shootout in a hotel room is particulary exhilarating, and it’s fast paced gunplay and stunts are memorable. Another memorable scene is a bare-fisted fight between Foster’s character and a hulk assassin, that is particularly brutal and enjoyable. It’s also nice to see a movie that doesn’t copout with it’s rating. The Mechanic knows it’s an R-Rated flick and doesn’t hold back from showing headshots or tits. Statham has another fun action film to add to his resume, and while the film doesn’t display Guy Ritchie acting depth, it doesn’t have The Transporter zaniness either. The Mechanic finds a comfortable middle-ground.

    Rating: 6/10