Sunday, 23 November 2008
THE MECHANIK (2005)
Directed by: Dolph Lundgren
Screenplay: Bryan Edward Hill
Starring: Dolph Lundgren & Ben Cross
“What’s the plan?”
“Kill them all…”
Mr Lundgren’s second directorial offer is a no nonsense, tough as nails revenge flick as he goes hunting for those who killed his family. A former Russian Spetnatz now working as a mechanic, Nick Cherenko (Lundgren) gets a second chance to get the killers of his family when they kidnap the daughter of a rich business woman. Sent into deepest Russia to get the girl back, Cherenko has one thing on his mind: revenge. Teaming up with a plucky Brit (Cross) and his crew they nab the girl and set off for the border with some very nasty men on their trail. This of course leads to one epic, violent showdown.
Taking the reins of his movie career himself, Lundgren has switched to direction as well as starring and is delivering some of his best action movie work to date. The Mechanik (aka The Russian Specialist) is probably his grittiest work as a director yet. The story and set up are old hat but the execution is stylish, riveting and often very violent. As a man of few words, Cherenko tears through the screen, obliterating anyone who has anything to do with his family’s death and the kidnapping of the girl. Cross adds the human element as the chatty Brit but is never reduced to comedy sidekick, having to take up arms himself and avenge the death of someone he cares for. The gritty edge means violence is shown in all its ugliness and despite the slick camerawork, the flick has a down and dirty vibe as we know some very bad things are gonna happen to some very bad people.
The action is shot with verve all extended gunplay and shotgun action (a few fisticuffs thrown in here and there) and the final twenty minutes sees Cherenko and his crew hunting down the bad guys in a village in a tense and ballistic fashion. There could have perhaps been a bit more action and vengeance but it’s a noble attempt to add a bit more drama to the revenge flick formula, Lundgren giving us a chance to know the people we are following through this bloodbath. Overall, another top notch effort from star and director Lundgren and along with The Defender and Missionary Man, he is showing himself to be a quality action filmmaker. It’s also a great revenge flick.