Hitman movies are a dime a dozen, but 'The Mechanic' must have cost a nickel. Too smart by half, Simon West's remake of the 1972 movie of the same name emphasizes cool shoot-outs over character development and set pieces over substance. Needless to say, that approach will inevitably appeal to some viewers, but even with Ben Foster doing the acting for both himself and co-star Jason Statham, 'The Mechanic' is too torn between a sense of dramatic integrity and a desire to fulfill audiences' bloodlust to fully satisfy in either capacity.

Statham plays Arthur Bishop, an experienced, ice-cold assassin whose trademark is invisibility. When Bishop is given the task of killing his longtime mentor and only friend, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland), he completes the job with effortless efficiency. Not long after, Harry's son Steve (Foster) shows up looking for someone to blame, and Bishop hides the truth, taking the young man under his wing as his protégé.