Any Excuse for a Killling Spree; ALSO SHOWING
Byline: by Jason Solomons
It doesn't take long for Jason Statham to take off his top in The Mechanic (15A) ** A lingering shot of the muscled shoulders and taut stomach has become the former diving champion's signature, along with stubble, guns and killing lots of baddies.
He is very good at this sort of thing and here he reprises a role originally taken by Charles Bronson in the Seventies: that of contract killer Arthur Bishop.
When double-crossing results in the death of his contact (Donald Sutherland), Bishop inherits an apprentice in the form of McKenna's wayward but vengeful son Steve (Ben Foster). Together they blow things up and shoot more people.
The Mechanic is a particularly miserable affair, devoid of cheeky asides or witty action choreography. Even the sex scenes with a willowy prostitute are joyless, and the abiding image is of Statham calmly walking away from scenes of total carnage, his jaw set thick and his collar turned up, as if readying himself for the inevitable sequels. …