Jason Statham has carved out a niche for himself as a bankable action star and I have enjoyed a lot of these throwaways. I even enjoyed the first Mechanic which also starred Ben Foster. Mechanic: Resurrection is an unnecessary sequel and although Statham escapes with most of his reputation in tact, this is assembly line filmmaking where nothing is interesting or fresh. It plays like a bad video game where bad guys are mowed down like straw but endless henchmen come out of nowhere. This whole film just wears the viewer down.
The film opens with retired assassin Arthur Bishop (Statham) laying low on a beautiful yacht in Rio. He is approached to do a job that requires him to assassinate three people. Threatened with exposing his new life to the world, he is forced into taking up his old profession. Throw in a damsel in distress named Gina (Jessica Alba) who runs a local orphanage, a fellow assassin and friendly contact named Mei (Michelle Yeoh) and Bishop has all of the motivation he needs. The only catch is that the three hits have to appear to be accidents and not professional assassinations.
Mechanic: Resurrection is not awful, but it is not good either. There is nothing really left to the imagination and aside from Jason Statham’s strong screen presence, there is not one character that is interesting. Alba is serviceable but completely forgettable as the Bishop’s love interest. Yeoh is largely wasted as is the inexplicable Tommy Lee Jones character, Max Adams. It is obvious they are simply cashing a check on an easy gig. These are characters that exist simply as time killers. Give them a couple of scenes to get the run time past ninety minutes, other than that there is no depth to any of these characters. They are fillers and that is all.
Sam Hazeldine is the main baddie, Crain and there is not one second in which I felt that he was going to beat Bishop. I know that the bad guy never wins, but these films require a solid villain that shows the possibility that he can give the hero a run for his money. Crain is also so underdeveloped that I could not have cared less what his endgame was. These characters only exist simply to be cut down later. Crain does not even have a decent lead goon that challenges Bishop and there are so many bad guys that pop up, out of nowhere that after a while you will lose track. Believe me, you won’t care either.
The action sequences are well choreographed and this is where Mechanic: Resurrection manages to infuse some energy to the story. But the problem is that the decent action does not seem to flow out of a competent story. Philip Shelby and Tony Moser’s script is made up of recycled elements, a lot of which seems to come other Statham films. Dennis Gansel directs with some visual flair, some much needed oomph and the exotic locales are beautifully shot. In fact, Daniel Gottschalk’s cinematography is first rate and Mark Isham returns to provide another terrific action score as he did with the first film.
Mechanic: Resurrection is serviceable but is far more tongue in cheek that its predecessor which had some humor but there was a competent story behind the action. Having the always reliable Ben Foster to play off of, Statham’s mayhem had purpose. This “Resurrection” is unnecessary, predictable and mostly empty. I have a feeling this installment of the franchise will probably generate more laughs (some intentional, mostly not, though) than thrills which is not something you look for in this kind of film. If you want to see a better film then watch the original reboot 2011 or even better, the 1972 version with Charles Bronson. Now, THAT is entertainment.
Mechanic: Resurrection – ** 1/2 out of 5
Mechanic: Resurrection – Rated R for language, graphic violence, sexual situations
Mechanic: Resurrection – Run Time is 98 minutes
Mechanic: Resurrection is now available on DVD, On Demand and subscription services.