The Mechanic (Empire review)

MechanicremakeSquareA remake of Michael Winner’s 1972 slow-burner, about a hitman who grows a conscience after being contracted to kill a friend, seems a logical step for The Stath, whose perma-frown is a natural successor to Bronson’s inscrutable screen persona – even if Simon ‘Con Air’ West’s take doesn’t have the guts to open with fifteen dialogue-free minutes. The action is a long time coming, and even then it’s pretty tame fare after the adrenaline rush of Crank. But with Ben Foster in the role of protégé (played in the original by future Airwolf star Jan Michael Vincent), a classy supporting turn from a wheelchair-bound Donald Sutherland, and some inspired plot twists, it’s a cut above the Eurotrashy Transporter sequels, and may offer Britain’s most surprising export since Cheryl Cole a promising new franchise.

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