A private jet lands in Colombia, and a well-dressed man leaves the plane and is chauffeured to his estate in a convoy of black SUV’s. With the property enclosed behind walls and a large security team there, it is apparent that he is involved in illegal activities. He jumps in his indoor pool to swim while a guard watches him. He swims, and notices his watch at the bottom of the pool; he goes under water to pick it up, and he is grabbed by a wet-suited hit man. He wrestles but cannot escape, and the hit man holds him under water until he drowns. He has the dead body mimic swim strokes, and when the guard looks away, he escapes.
The hit man (Jason Statham) goes to New Orleans, and heads to the waterfront. An old man is sleeping in a dilapidated chair on the dock. The hit man slips a bottle of scotch in his lap, and takes a small boat and leaves. He goes across the water to his home. Arthur Bishop is a hit man for “the company” for the government, and the hit in Colombia was of Jorje Lara, a leader of the drug cartel. He checks in online, and completes the assignment.
In the morning, he meets an old, white-haired man in a wheelchair for breakfast. This is his boss and mentor, Harry McKenna (Donald Sutherland), and Harry pays him his fee in a large envelope. That evening, Arthur goes to a nightclub, and leaves with a beautiful girl. They go to her place and have sex. In the morning, she offers to make him breakfast, but he has to leave. He places a stack of money on her night stand and leaves. He receives an email that shows an obituary for Harry, which means that his next hit is for him to kill Harry. He can’t believe it, and calls, and is told “it is accurate”. In the morning, Arthur meets Dean (Tony Goldwyn), the department head, and is told the hit is indeed on Harry. Dean explains that Harry must have sold them out, as they had a team of 5 agents in Cape Town South Africa, and all 5 were killed. Only 2 people knew of the mission: Dean and Harry. Harry has terrible financial problems, so they think that must have been his motivation. Arthur is reluctant, but Dean tells him that if he won’t do it, someone else will. Back at his house, Arthur investigates Dean’s claim while on the internet, and finds the articles showing the massacre in South Africa. He feels a little better about the assignment of killing Harry.
Harry is at the office, working. His phone rings and it is Arthur: he tells him that they are after him, so to grab any incriminating documents and get out quick. He talks to him via cell phone the whole way, instructing him how to escape while being in a wheelchair, without being detected. They meet in the basement parking structure, and Arthur has brought Harry’s minivan over. Harry is confused, and then realizes that Arthur has made it look like a carjacking gone bad, and knows he is about to be hit. It is difficult, but Arthur leans in and shoots.
At the cemetery, Arthur speaks to Steve McKenna (Ben Foster), Harry’s ne’er do well son. He tells Arthur that the bank will take the house and car, and after the expenses, there will be no money for him to inherit. Arthur goes back to his house, and spends the day thinking. Late that evening, he calls Steven, and tells him to meet him in the morning at a certain address, which turns out to be an animal shelter. Steven shows up, but has no idea why they are there. Arthur tells him that he’ll train him to be “a mechanic”, a hit man, but he needs to follow these instructions: get a small dog and train it, and bring him with him to breakfast at a coffee shop every morning. They will eat breakfast and he’ll work on a Sudoku puzzle. Arthur tells him to do this for the next 2-3 weeks, and he’ll explain later. Reluctantly, Steven agrees, and has a tiny Chihuahua with him every morning as does a Sudoku puzzle over breakfast. During this time, Arthur trains Steven in shooting and they have target practice out in the country. Arthur lets him come to his house, and shows him a red sports car that he has been restoring for over 2 years. He also tells him never to touch his stereo system, which he plays classic albums on.
After a few weeks, Arthur shows him a photo and Steven recognizes it as a regular in the coffee shop. This man is another “mechanic” with a penchant for small dogs and young boys. Without knowing it, Steven has set himself up as bait. Arthur teaches how to set this “date” up, and how to kill him. The guy is 6’7” tall and huge, and Steven is a small, scrawny guy, so this information is essential. Arthur warns him to never get in a car with him or go to his place….of course Steven ignores this advice and wants to kill him his way. As he tries to strangle him from behind, he is overpowered and the mechanic beats him up badly. They crash through walls, destroy furniture and finally Steven kills him by repeatedly hitting him with a fireplace tool. He is bloody, beaten up badly, but victorious.
Arthur gets a message and goes to the airport; he picks up a package that contains money and a cell phone, with instructions to dial it. He does, and it is Dean. He is angry that Arthur allowed an outsider to do the hit, and warns him not to do it again. He has a new hit for Arthur: a wealthy televangelist has been dating young girls and they turn up dead. He also has bilked followers out of millions of dollars, and forced one young girl to have an abortion after he got her pregnant, and then she turned up dead. Arthur goes back to his house and he and Steven pack up high-tech gear for this job. Their plan is to inject him with drugs to simulate a heart attack, and when the paramedics try to save him, the meds they use will actually react with theirs and kill him, but it will look like natural causes.
At his ritzy hotel, they climb up from the outside on the side of the building, and place small surveillance cameras and then watch the goings on inside. They see a doctor inject him intravenously with adrenaline, as he is a speed junkie, and realize their plan won’t work now. While they are in the wall space watching via a telescopic lens, a screw rolls out and plunks on the hotel room floor. The security team sees it and starts shooting at the walls-and a huge fight and shoot out begins. Steven and Arthur kill the bad guy and several guards, and then are chased. They split up and eventually both wind up on the roof, after killing many security guards along the way. They rappel down the side of the building with their gear, and fall short of the ground. Security from above is shooting at them, so they swing to the side, break a window and crash in the hotel. The hotel alarms have since come on, and they blend in with the other guests being evacuated. They take different flights to avoid being spotted, and head back. While on the airport shuttle, Arthur recognizes a man on with himit is another mechanic he knew that was supposedly killed with the others in So. Africa. He asks the guy to explain, and he tells him that Harry was never badthere had been a botched hit years ago, and Harry investigated it and was about to leak the information, and show that it was Dean’s fault. Dean told this hit man to kill the other 4 agents and fake his own death. Arthur realizes he was tricked into killing Harry and is furious. The two begin to fight and shoot and beat at each other in the shuttle. After much fighting, Harry launches the guy out the shuttle window, killing him. Arthur walks away.
As he nears home, his friend in the ratty chair at the dock isn’t there, which is unusual, so Arthur is suspicious and cautiously looks around. An SUV pulls up and 4 thugs get out and attack. Arthur kills them all and finds his friend’s bodyhe has been killed. Dean calls and says that he’ll keep sending more guys after him; Arthur replies, “Save the fuel-I’m coming for you”.
Arthur calls Steven and by the conversation, he can tell that Steven is being held at gunpoint at his house. He tells him there is a gun stashed down the side cushion of the sofa, and as he hangs up, Steven finds it and shoots the men holding him captive. Arthur and he begin packing for the big hit on Dean, and Steven inadvertently finds Harry’s antique gunthe one that was used to kill him. Steven looks at it and then realizes that Arthur was the one who killed his father. He keeps the gun, but doesn’t tell Arthur that he knows.
Harry uses his connections to find out where Dean is located. He calls Dean at the office and demands $50 million but Dean laughs. He asks Arthur “Do you really think you can get to me before I get to you?” Arthur tells him, “I already have”. Dean looks around and knows he’s in trouble.
Arthur watches the building via surveillance camera as he sits in a parked car. As soon as the convoy of SUVs comes out, he lets two pass, and then floors it and crashes into the next one. The crash blocks the road and the rest of the protection cars. Steven is driving a city bus he has hijacked, and rams headfirst into the first SUV, Now Dean’s car is unprotected. He is panicked, and before he can do anything, a garbage truck rams the SUV from the side, flipping it and nearly destroying it. Upside down, the car is totaled and Dean is bloody and tries to crawl out. Arthur and Steven are there, and shoot him many, many times.
Arthur and Steven drive away in a truck they had stashed. Arthur tells Steven that he is retiring and Steven should join him. Steven jokes that they will get bunk beds, and hang out and whittle all day long, then tells Arthur that now he is good at this, he feels complete, enjoys it and won’t give it up. They stop for gas, and Arthur stays in the car. While filling the tank, Steven moves the nozzle out of the tank, letting the gasoline flood under the truck. He leaves it fueling and walks toward the gas station and he pulls out his father’s gun and fires. The truck and gas station explode into a huge fireball, and Steven leaves. He goes to Arthur’s lake house, and instantly puts on a record on the forbidden stereo. Then he goes to the garage and gets in the red sports car. He tries to start it, and it balks. It finally goes, and as he pulls out of the garage, he flips the visor and a note falls out: “If you are reading this, you are already dead. Arthur”. And then…the car explodes, the stereo begins to burn and the entire property blows up. We see the gun in the grass and read the inscription: “Victory Loves Preparation”. We see a flashback of the gas station, and as Steven turned his back to walk to the station, Arthur jumped out of the truck and rolled under it and away before the explosion. He gets in a truck, and drives away into the sunset.
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