Action movies. I've never really known how I feel about them. At their best they are thrilling, tense and harrowing. At their worst they are also a pure joy to witness (Oh, the abject failings!). But in the middle there is a wide expanse of unwatchable garbage. These days most action movies are also science fiction movies. There are precious few straight action movies being produced (probably the last good ones were the first two Bourne movies). There's also so few good straight up science fiction movies being made but that's a whole other post.
The seventies was a great decade for action movies. The technology was in the right place. They had real explosions, real car chases, and stunt men kicked ass. One of the underrated gems of the seventies is a little watched Charles Bronson vehicle called the Mechanic. Bronson is great in it but I could never really except Jan Michael Vincent (in any context) so I thought an adaptation wouldn't be a bad idea.
And it wasn't. The remake of the Mechanic is a decent action movie. Jason Statham is probably the only bankable action star in my book at this point. The fact that we're still letting Sylvester Stallone make shitty action movies at 60 should be proof enough that there is a dearth of action stars available for mass consumption. Statham is acceptable, he at least looks like he can do action things. Every performance of his is remarkably wooden. He has never really delivered dramatically for me but at least he has recognized that fact and put himself in roles where he doesn't need to do so. Besides, who else do we have for these types of movies? Matt Damon? C'mon. In the remake, the role previously played by Jan Michael Vincent is played by one of my favorite actors, Ben Foster.
Ben Foster is one of the few actors whose movies I will see no matter what they are. I like that he has focused on smaller interesting roles, he's quickly becoming a go to character actor. Also, he is my brother's man crush (we're all allowed one, right?). He is a huge upgrade over the sloppy Jan Michael Vincent. Donald Sutherland also appears in a small role as Statham's mentor and Foster's dad. I also love Donald Sutherland. Have I told all of you that I met him once? Probably. I know I tell Lauren every time we see him in a movie, or so I've heard.
Anyway, a lot of shit explodes, there are some neat gadgets and cool fight scenes. That's all I wanted out of this movie and it was pretty much all I got. So I have to say I enjoyed it. Especially when you compare it to other movies of this ilk coming out recently.