His mission grows complicated when Harry’s son Steve [Ben Foster] approaches him with the same vengeful goal. Statham's got the moves, the voice, and the three-day stubble necessary for the role. Statham stays in his locked-down key throughout, while, as his student, Ben Foster--somewhat less jittery here than in the likes of 3:10 to Yuma or Alpha Dog--strides into one reckless situation after another.
So the prospect of a 2011 rehold isn't especially sacrilegious, and handing the central role to 21st-century tough guy Jason Statham is a logical choice; Director Simon West (Con Air) manages to hold even New Orleans locations seem monotonous, as he covers everything in a baked-butterscotch glaze and surrounds his antihero with the sleekest, most boring kind of modern hardware (the old skool LP turntable is a nice exception). --Robert Horton
Column REVIEWS PRODUCT DESCRIPTION Arthur Bishop [Jason Statham] is a ‘mechanic’ - an elite assassin with a unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets…and Bishop is the best in the business. A take-no-prisoners approach to violence holds this seem even more like an empty exercise. But when his mentor and close friend Harry [Donald Sutherland] is murdered, Bishop is intent on exacting revenge.
In some fairly significant ways, though, the rehold backs away from the hardness of the original and settles for a less daring approach. The actual targets of the hits are creepy enough so that we aren't unduly troubled by Statham's line of work, and the ending falls far short of the memorable original. While no masterpiece, it does get points for the retro-coolness of prime-era Charles Bronson, cast as an ice-cold hit man who begins teaching the tricks of the trade to a young apprentice.
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