Dir. Simon West. 2011. R. 92mins. Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Tony Goldwyn.
More influential than is commonly acknowledged, the moody, psychedelic 1972 Mechanic is an early portrait of the hit man as basket case; in it, Charles Bronson’s stoic loner assassin finds a kinship with a victim’s son, a would-be apprentice. There’s no problem with revving it up for the Crank crowd—in fact, that actually sounds pretty awesome—but West’s remake removes the original’s eccentricity and puts very little in its place. This time, Statham is the trigger man, saddled with guilt over the death of a mentor (Sutherland). But the star, despite his charisma, does not convey psychological interest. Characters take such a backseat to ho-hum action scenes (including one in an unconvincing Chicago hotel) that even the director seems unable to make sense of the various double- and triple-crossings. Foster barely registers in the young man’s role. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday 17.)—Ben Kenigsberg
Dir. Mikael Håfström. 2011. PG-13. 112mins. Colin O’Donoghue, Anthony Hopkins, Alice Braga, Ciarán Hinds.
In the umpteenth “true story” the Vatican doesn’t want us to know about, Hopkins does his blinking, don’t-test-my-patience thing as a maverick priest, Father Lucas; his long-telegraphed transformation into a jabbering monster isn’t really that far from his slurping Hannibal Lecter. On VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday 17.
Dir. Christian E. Christiansen. 2011. PG-13. 91mins. Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet.
Roommates can be such a pain. When they’re not eating your food or borrowing your stuff without asking, they’re putting your pets in the dryer and slicing up your ex-lovers with a box cutter. This dorm-room Single White Female elicits a few mild shudders at most. On VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday 17.