Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Mechanic (2011)

Go To

The 2011 remake of the 1972 action film, starring Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop and Ben Foster as Steve McKenna.

After reluctantly assassinating his mentor and apparent mole Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland) at the behest of his superior Dean Sanderson (Tony Goldwyn), Arthur Bishop takes in Harry's son Steve as an apprentice and trains him to be a fellow mechanic.

A sequel, Mechanic: Resurrection, was released on August 26, 2016, with Statham reprising his role, with Michelle Yeoh, Jessica Alba, and Tommy Lee Jones joining the cast. Bishop is forced back into the business by his Evil Former Friend Hugh Crain when Crain kidnaps Bishop's girlfriend Gina Thornton (Alba), and is sent by Crain to eliminate arms dealers across the world.

Tropes used by the remake:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Compared to the sociopathic protagonists of the 1972 film. Especially Steve. He wants Bishop dead because he killed his father, even if by his own admission they had a very rocky, "wish-you-were-dead" kind of relationship.
  • Arc Words: "Victory Through Preparation", which is on the slide of Harry’s pistol. It's what reveals to Steve that Bishop killed Harry.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Bishop tips off Harry that Dean is sending someone to kill him. It's just a ruse to get Harry to bypass his own security.
    • Bishop takes McKenna with him to buy weapons for their next job. Turns out the Arms Dealer is the next target.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: Bishop uses this to get Dean out of the building, by making him think the call is coming from a room above — in actuality Bishop has rigged the switchboard to give a false signal.
  • Car Fu: Bishop kills another hitman by throwing him through a bus window into the path of an oncoming car. The vehicle vs. vehicle version is used in the Dean ambush.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Harry's pistol. When McKenna sees it, he realises that Bishop killed his father (as Harry was supposedly shot by a carjacker using his own weapon).
  • Cruel Mercy: Harry could have killed Bishop, but chose not to. He knew someone else would try later, and this way Bishop has to live with killing him.
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: Bishop kills an Arms Dealer this way to Make It Look Like an Accident, strangling him with his own belt, then hanging him up with some porn playing on a laptop in front of him. His protege Steve then makes the mistake of trying to copy this method on his first target — unfortunately his victim is a very fit and powerfully built hitman.
  • Everything Is Online: Including how to be a hitman, as Bishop points out.
    McKenna: I don't want to read it — I want to do it.
  • Fast-Roping: Improvised with ropes from a window-cleaning rig.
  • Fingore: Bishop pretends to force a girl's hand into the waste shredder to encourage her father to talk. It's actually raw steak.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Bishop is talking on his mobile to Steve who is waiting at his house.
    Bishop: I'm guessing you're not alone. (wide shot shows three mooks pointing guns at Steve) There's a gun down the left side cushion. It's loaded and the safety's off.
    Steve: I'm not a lefty.
    Bishop: Then you're going to die.
    (Steve hands his mobile back to the mook; with the other hand he shoots the man behind him, then the others)
  • Improvised Weapon: Used in the hitman vs. hitman scenes.
  • Job Title: A Deadly Euphemism for Bishop's work (hitman).
  • Kill It with Fire: Double Subversion. Towards the end of the film, it appears that Bishop has been killed by McKenna in a massive explosion. It turns out that not only did he survive the explosion, but he rigged McKenna's car with a bomb.
  • Manly Gay: The Mighty Glacier rival mechanic.
  • More Dakka: Dean insists to his bodyguards that Bishop will attack him the way he least expects it and for them to be wary of any ploys with poisons and bombs. Bishop and McKenna catch them off guard by coming at them machine guns blazing and blowing them all away.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dean know things are gonna suck when he thinks The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House.
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle / Convenient Escape Boat: How Bishop escapes at the end of the Action Prologue.
  • Out with a Bang: McKenna decides to kill Burke this way. It doesn't go well.
  • Parental Substitute: McKenna accuses his dead father of having chosen Bishop over him. Now he wants Bishop to take on the mentor role, essentially becoming this trope.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Steve has prior convictions for assaulting and threatening several past girlfriends.
  • Pragmatic Pansexuality: If Steve has any issues acting as the Honey Trap for his first target, another man, he keeps it to himself.
  • Professional Killer
    Bishop: (narrating) What I do requires a certain mindset. I do assignments; designated targets. Some jobs need to look like accidents. Others must cast suspicion on someone else. A select few need to send a clear message. Pulling a trigger is easy. The best jobs are the ones nobody even knows you were there.
  • Rated M for Manly: The female characters are incidental in this story.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Steve forgoes the easy method of poisoning Burke at the bar, for the risky method of going home with him and trying to strangle the mark with his own belt as he saw Bishop do to an earlier mark. Things don't go well.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The chihuahua that Bishop and McKenna adopt for a mission (later given to Bishop's prostitute friend and named Arthur).
  • Sexual Karma: Not really a case of good and bad, but Bishop has his beautiful high-class escort writhing on top of him, while McKenna has rough sex in an alley and a couple of prior convictions for assaulting girlfriends.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: Justified as the fuel is allowed to spill out onto the ground.
  • So Much for Stealth: The two killers infiltrate the penthouse of a cult leader and Make It Look Like an Accident. Unfortunately someone enters the room and finds the body before they've had time to re-secure the mirror they unscrewed to crawl through – a nut drops to the floor, rolls along (they have their hands full holding up the mirror) and drops out a vent. A bodyguard goes to investigate and things get violent very quickly.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jason Statham's version of the titular character did not die before the credits, unlike his Charles Bronson counterpart. The same thing can't be said for the protégé, however.
  • Spray And Pray: Averted — Bishop and McKenna fire only the rounds they need. Played straight when they kill Dean however, as both men empty their magazines into him.
  • Training Montage: Bishop and Steve McKenna using a variety of automatic weapons and a Barrett fifty-calibre rifle on an improvised firing range are alternated with scenes of Steve's daily routine with his dog, which is meant to set up the interest of Steve's first target.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?
    Steve: Why don't you just shoot him and fuck all this?
    Bishop: Good judgement comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  • You Killed My Father: Unlike in the original movie, McKenna is very motivated to kill whoever killed his father, despite their troubled relationship when he was alive.

Mechanic: Resurrection

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Bishop is in hiding after the events of the previous movie, but not long enough to lose his lethal skills.
  • The Alcatraz: The Malaysian prison is surrounded by high walls and man-eating sharks. Bishop smuggles in explosives and shark repellent.
  • Anchors Away: In the final fight between Bishop and Crain, Crain sees a small anchor and decides to use it against Bishop. For all the good it did to him.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Gina was running a home for orphans, whom Crain has promised to kill if she doesn't help him. One of her staff was murdered just to drive this point home.
  • Arms Dealer: All three targets. Eventually Bishop realises that Crain is wiping out his competition.
  • Asshole Victim: The first two targets are linked to human sex trafficking. The final target is just a nice Arms Dealer who ensures the little guy doesn't get stomped on by superpowers. He's the only one who Bishop doesn't kill.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Gina gets a cut lip, some bruises, and a gunshot wound, all carefully positioned so as not to deprive the audience of Jessica Alba's incredible beauty.
  • Benevolent Boss: Adams checks that the submarines are prepped and some Russian girls were called in for the crews last night.
  • Big Bad: Crain.
  • Booby Trap: All over the place.
  • Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity: Bishop has to open a sealed window and climb up the side of a skyscraper, then hang beneath the suspended pool to sabotage it.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Bishop hides behind the hull of a rigid-inflatable boat while Crain fires an assault rifle at him. Maybe it's one of those Kevlar-reinforced hulls.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Bishop and Crain. They apparently met in an orphanage that was being used to train child soldiers, and the reason Crain hates Bishop so much is that Bishop managed to escape and he didn't.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even though Bishop has retired, his yacht is still rigged with bombs that he activates whenever he leaves it. Near the start of the film, he arrives back at the marina to find it crawling with Crain's men, and swiftly blows them all to kingdom come.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Cook gets sucked through the floor of his hanging swimming pool and falls to his death.
  • Escape Pod: An improvised version using a diving bell and the reinforced anchor locker.
  • Enemy Mine: Having realised that Crain is using him to eliminate the competition, Bishop teams up with his third target, Max Adams, to take down Crain together.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Bishop has faked his death in the garage explosion in the previous movie. Crain's first attempt to recruit him involves threatening to leak the knowledge of his survival, and when that doesn't work, he gets creative.
    • Bishop fakes Max Adams' death in the explosion of his sub pen, in order to lure out Crain and his men.
    • At the end of the film, Bishop fakes his death again, in the explosion of Crain's yacht. Adams returns the favour by deleting the evidence of his survival.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After Crain's yacht blows up with Bishop inside, Adams watches a piece of debris being brought back to shore, then casts a meaningful glance at a security camera as he leaves. Turns out Bishop faked his death by hiding inside that very piece of debris, and the film ends with Adams hacking the camera to erase the footage of Bishop emerging from it.
  • From Dress to Dressing: Gina plays it straight after being shot.
  • Get into Jail Free: Bishop finds a wanted criminal who looks like him, copies his tattoo, then picks a fight with police to get himself arrested.
  • Grenade Tag: One which backfires when the blast knocks down Bishop too.
  • Hidden Supplies: Bishop has ammunition boxes with weapons, fake passports, mobile phones and other equipment stashed in Brazil and Thailand.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Bishop, in noticeable contrast to how the protagonists in the original movie regarded their girlfriends, is willing to risk his life to save Gina, despite knowing the whole thing was a set-up in the first place.
  • Holding Hands: Bishop does this so Crain's men will think he and Gina are lovers. Of course, this happens anyway.
  • I Have Your Wife: Invoked by Crain - his plan is to get Bishop to meet Gina and fall in love with her, then kidnap Gina and use her as leverage to force Bishop to carry out the three hits. Bishop quickly figures it out, but falls for it anyway.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: All over the place.
  • Incredibly Obvious Tail: Bishop finds himself being observed from a boat off-shore, when it's no longer diving season.
  • Infraction Distraction: The prison guard confiscates Bishop's lighter, not realising the more dangerous items are hidden in a tin of cream, and the packets of chewing gum and cigarettes.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Handwaved as Crain wanting to avoid his co-conspirators realising he's moving on them, though Crain later admits that Krill and Cook's deaths have raised Adams' suspicions, so it clearly didn't work.
  • Motive Rant: Subverted. During Bishop and Crain's final battle, Crain asks, "Don't you want to know why?", as if he's about to launch into one, but Bishop retorts that he already knows why: he made it out of the Child Soldier camp, and Crain didn't.
  • Mythology Gag: After Bishop gets through his security, Adams grumbles that he should have hired "those guys in Houston" instead, presumably referring to Bishop's previous employers.
  • Never Found the Body: Invoked. Bishop fakes Max Adams' death in such a way that the authorities are unable to find his body, knowing Crain will be forced to send a group of his men to confirm the kill instead. He does, and Bishop slaughters them all, leaving Crain with significantly less security when Bishop storms his super-yacht in the climax.
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: Rather than reenact the Jaws/Bond fight in Moonraker, Bishop dives off a cable car onto a hang glider passing beneath!
  • Rescue Romance: Crain invokes this to get Bishop to work for him. He sets Gina up to be attacked by one of his men, knowing Bishop will save her and the pair will fall in love, allowing Crain to use her as leverage against him. Gina outright admits all of this to Bishop, yet he falls for her anyway.
  • Right Through His Pants: The foreplay is drawn out so Alba and Statham don't have to do a nude scene.
  • Rule of Three: Bishop is given three targets that he has to eliminate, or else Gina will be killed.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Crain's super-yacht has one, with the requisite Incredibly Obvious Countdown on the bridge computer screen.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: At least when she's abducted they grab both arms. When only one arm is grabbed, Gina does do some groin-kicking.
  • Sex Equals Love: Mind you, she is Jessica Alba.
  • Snowy Screen of Death: Crain insists The Dragon take a camera with him when raiding Adams' base. When Bishop blows him up with a hand grenade, this trope ensues.
  • Supervillain Lair: All three of the targets live in one, plus Crain himself:
  • Swiss-Cheese Security
    Mook: (via intercom) No sign of the intruder, Mr Adams.
    Adams: That's because he's sitting in front of me in the safe room, jack-off!
  • Token Romance: Compare the bland romance here with the terse Ho Yay between Bishop and McKenna in the previous movie.
  • Tracking Device: After diving off the cliffs at the prison, Bishop has to swallow a radioactive tracker so the boat can pick him up.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Whenever Bishop strips off to dive into the water.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: We get a nice look at Alba in a bikini walking away from the camera into the ocean, then swimming around underwater.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to Renee Tran, Crain's henchwoman? She turns up again in Thailand, so she's not just a messenger, but that's the last we see of her.
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Crain points out that with the internet and satellite tracking, there's really no place to hide any more. Unless everyone thinks you're dead and so are no longer looking.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Discussed. Bishop asks how he can trust that Crain will let Gina go, and Crain replies that he has a "very strong sense of self-preservation" and doesn't want Bishop coming after him for revenge. No-one is surprised when he tries to get around this by killing Bishop.

Alternative Title(s): Mechanic Resurrection