I was just thinking that the world could use a few more sidekicks. Here's what New York Times critic Manohla Dargis says about Jason Statham's new movie The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film. Love Statham. Wish he'd make better movies--but whatever he's in manages to have a twisted sort of charm. The snarky but probably dead-on review has now gone and made we want to see this movie.
With his complementary buzz cut, hard-body profile and hyperbolic masculinity, McKenna [played by Ben Foster] turns out to be a capable if overly reckless sidekick and a rather adorable Mini Me for Bishop [Statham's character] in what soon starts to resemble something of a hit-man hookup. Action flicks often bristle with the love that dare not speak its name, as men express themselves through eroticized violence and the usual expressive grunting and grappling, body slamming, inevitable spasms of death and climactic explosions. When Bishop and McKenna begin firing off their guns in tandem, it certainly looks like the start of a beautiful friendship.
Yet while the two come across as Mr. and Mr. Smith of the action-flick set, Bishop and McKenna can't really go the distance, of course, in the don't ask, don't tell movie world. So instead, McKenna, on his first solo contract job, lures a gay man home alone with feigned sensitivity and a little dog, and then engages in a sadistic fight to the death that conveys--with the customary physical struggle and oozing bodily fluids--what cannot be expressed in any other fashion.