You can’t beat a bit of good old-fashioned action, can you? They’re rarely particularly good, but they are such brainless and physical fun that you can lose yourself in one with relative ease. Mechanic: Resurrection is exactly that kind of movie – Jason Statham is the lead, killing people around the world in inventive ways, and it is a fun watch. Not a very good one, though, and although it is fun while you’re watching it, it’s lacking in substance and full of problems.
Master assassin Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is living undercover in Brazil, attempting to retire from his business, but he is forced back into action after Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine), an old enemy, kidnaps the woman (Jessica Alba) that he loves. In order to save her life, Bishop must kill an imprisoned African warlord, a human trafficker and an arms dealer (Tommy Lee Jones), all while making each of the deaths look like accidents. During the operations, things don’t go exactly as planned and Bishop starts to figure out Crain’s real motivation, forcing him to turn the table on his old adversary.
Resurrection is a sequel (because pretty much everything released this summer has been), and it brings back Statham to do what he does in all his movies – don’t expect more than that, and you won’t be disappointed. It’s not a particularly good movie, however, and it is where it tries to rise above its action stylings and engage it things like plot or character development. The actors get to spend a lot of time in evidently expensive exotic locales – clearly there was no money left over for a decent scriptwriter.
The movie begins with a prolonged first act that is elaborate, confusing and a prelude nobody wants before we reach the action. After it being revealed that he is alive, Bishop has to go to Thailand for some reason, rescue Gina (Alba’s character), watch her get kidnapped again and then have to rescue her for real after Crain holds her hostage. I guess that idea may have been to try and create an emotional anchor in the romance between Bishop and Gina, but it is underdeveloped and the two actors barely share any chemistry.
Statham plays the role of the hero well – he is well-accustomed to this kind of role by now, and he is exactly the sort of physical presence to carry a film like this. The other actors don’t really get very much to do – Alba is just the damsel in distress, despite the movie trying to convince us that she is a war veteran turned charity dealer (it comes across as convincingly as it sounds). Hazeldine is a bland and completely unthreatening villain, and Tommy Lee Jones gets to ham it ups as an arms dealer, exchanging a few wisecracks with Bishop and wearing a costume he must have retained from his stint as Twoface.
It seems a bit unfair to critique Mechanic: Resurrection too much – it isn’t making any grand statement, laying claim to being a great piece of art or anything like that. It is the kind of film where you know exactly what you’re going to get, and if you’re a fan of a good Jason Statham action film, this will be exactly to your liking. For everybody else, it isn’t a particularly substantial movie, but it promises to be an hour and a half of mindless auctioning that is a fun watch while it lights up the screen.
Director: Dennis Gansel
Cast: Jason Statham (Arthur Bishop), Jessica Alba (Gina), Tommy Lee Jones (Max Adams), Michelle Yeoh (Mel), Sam Hazeldine (Crain), John Cenatlempo (Jeremy)
Running Time: 99 Mins