The Mechanic (15) * *

Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop

Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop

Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson in Hampstead.

Cinema and TRAILER: Keaton brings the common touch to the Heath in tale of London life

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As one of Hollywood’s new generation of hard men, Jason Statham has put the pedal to the metal on numerous occasions to outmanoeuvre cops and bad guys, including high-octane chases in the Transporter films and the 2008 remake of Death Race.

The title of Simon West’s action-packed thriller suggests the muscular British actor will be getting his knuckles dirty with more engine grease.

While Statham’s character does spend part of the film polishing and rebuilding a classic sports car, the eponymous mechanic is in fact slang for a hit man, who shoots first and growls inane lines of dialogue later.

Michael Winner’s 1972 film of the same name pairing Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent provides the inspiration for this predictable tale of revenge and retribution that intercuts limp banter with well-orchestrated action sequences.

West has a proven track record with explosive popcorn fodder that doesn’t tax the brain. Here, he conceives a botched assassination attempt in a hotel and a bone-crunching fist-fight that puts one of his actors through the wringer.

Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is one of the best assassins in the business: Clean, efficient and completely ruthless, he kills on demand and foregoes messy personal relationships by enjoying sex with high class prostitute Sarah (Mini Anden).

Out of the blue, Arthur receives a call from Dean (Tony Goldwyn), who needs the hit man to eliminate a traitor in the organisation.

The Mechanic is everything you expect from a film bearing Statham’s name: Loud, simplistic and bruising for a brawl.

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