Director: Simon West
Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland
Meet Arthur Bishop (Statham), one of the world's top assassins. Arthur is a human chameleon, a weapons expert, a kung fu master and the proud owner, he repeatedly and obliquely reminds us, "of a certain mindset!" What Arthur is not, however, is a movie character in any recognisable sense of the term. Instead, with an enormous Bayou man-pad and a vintage sports car, he is simply a cardboard cipher around which the director West can build this schematic revamp of the hardly inspiring 1972 Charles Bronson original (also called The Mechanic, directed by Michael Winner). Here, Arthur is tricked by his evil corporate overlords into performing a "bad assassination" on a "normal person" (as opposed to all the "good" assassinations he performs throughout the movie, on sleazy arms dealers, South American businessmen and child molesters). This makes Arthur angry and, together with his increasingly deranged sidekick Steve (Foster), he decides to bring the mayhem right back to company headquarters. It's all deeply silly stuff, visually pedestrian (it's like 1990s, or even noughties, action cinema never happened) and brightened only by some of the most cumbersome and unintentionally funny lines of dialogue ever uttered, for example: "I'm going to put a price on your head so high that when you look at yourself in the mirror your reflection is going to want to shoot you in the face!"