The Mechanik (2005)
Directed By: Dolph Lundgren
Written By: Dolph Lundgren
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Ben Cross
Retired Russian Special Forces soldier Nikolai “Nick” Cherenko (Dolph Lundgren) is a simple man trying to live a simple life in his small Russian town. He has a pretty wife named Alina (Hilda van der Meulen), a son named Vanya (Naum Shopov), and a successful profession as an automobile mechanic. But one day, Russian mob boss Aleksandr Sasha Popov (Ivan Petrushinov) and his gang come to town.
Caught in the crossfire is Nick’s family. When the smoke clears, Alina and Vanya lie dead in the streets. Nick arms himself and tracks down Sasha and his gang, cornering them in a drug deal and laying waste.
Years later, Nick emigrates to the U.S. and takes a job as a car mechanic in Los Angeles. And then wealthy Mary Abramoff (Levana Finkelstein) tracks him down. She pleads with him to go to Russia and retrieve her daughter Julia (Olivia Lee), who has been kidnapped and forced into the sex trade.
Mary knows Nick’s past and, though he is initially reluctant, when she shows him a picture of the kidnapper, he changes his mind: it is Sasha Popov, somehow alive after Nick shot him in the face years ago.
Nick takes the next plane to St. Petersburg, Russia, and he joins up with a band of mercenaries led by British mercenary William Burton (Ben Cross). Their mission is clear: free Julia from Sasha, and mow down anyone who stands in their way.
Dolph directs, writes and stars in this action, thriller. If you love action, explosions, gun fights, fist fights then you have come to the right place. This is not the first movie Dolph has directed and starred in, his other work includes, The Defender (2004), Missionary Man (2007), Command Performance (2009), The Killing Machine (2010), Dolph also done the majority, well all, the directing for the 2007 movie Diamond Dogs. This movie here being Dolphs second to direct he proves he can make a really good action movie, the characters are well written, and you can see Dolph is having a great time playing Nick. One scene that sticks out for me is when Nick and Burton (Ben Cross) go to have a look at Sasha’s club, just a routine stakeout to see what the security is like, only for Nick to end up in a fist fight, then shooting one of the guards, to which Burton starts shouting at him, Nick apologizes and then him and Burton flee. What sticks out for me in that scene, is that Nick is like a fish out of water so to speak. As in he has the mission in mind and is still thinking on the kill now ask questions later. The relationship between Nick and Burton reminded much of Schwarzenegger and Belushi in Red Heat. The action in the movie is well paced, there’s enough action to satisfy fans. The finale is pretty cool too, with the villain Sasha getting quite a brutal death scene. Overall I think Dolph is at his best when he directs his own movies, he knows how to write a character to suit him, and his screen presence is always strong. It is definitely a solid action movie that fans of the genre and Lundgren should check out.
Reviewed by: Jeff Turner