Mechanic Resurrection Review
A FAILED RESURRECTION
Actor Jason Statham has proven to be a solid lead role in action movies or least in a large ensemble type action feature. From Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Revolver, The Italian Job and to his most popular films in The Transporter franchise (films 1, 2, and 3), the now 49-year-old actor has become an iconic action star of the modern age, mostly performing his own stage combat and stunts. Back in 2011, Statham starred in the action movie The Mechanic, a film that was loosely based off of the 1972 flick of the same name. While it was intended to be a remake and new way for viewers to the get their new “Statham” kicks, 2011 version of The Mechanic was received with mixed thoughts from both critics and moviegoers. Many thought it was a “one and done” movie. However, Summit Entertainment and director Dennis Gansel resurrect the film once again in the year of 2016 with the film Mechanic Resurrection. Does this sequel rise to the challenge or is it a mindless and bland action movie?
Leaving behind his past life of being a professional contract killer, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is trying to live a quiet life, away from the nuances that were once commonplace in his life. Unfortunately, troubled situation by friend Mae (Michelle Yeoh), who senses a bad situation when Gina (Jessica Alba) arrives at a Thai Island with visible bruise mark on her body. Under the pretense guise of believing he’s breaking up an act of domestic violence, Bishop instead learns he’s been targeted by his former rival Crain (Sam Hazeldine), who kidnaps Gina and demands that Bishop to return to his old ways in completing three elaborate assassinations. With Gina’s life on the line, Bishop reluctantly agrees, using his skills of reconnaissance prowess and weapons to pull off impossible murders in hard to reach areas of the world. With every inch of tactician savviness and meticulous fighting combat, Bishop moves closer to the woman’s developed feelings for and settling his unfinished score against Crain.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
While I can’t say that I’ve seeing the original 1972 movie, I did see the 2011 remake of The Mechanic (only once however). Like what many said, I thought it was just okay, an adequate action feature endeavor for the action junkie or diehard Statham fans. Which brings me to 2016 when I saw the trailers for Mechanic Resurrection. “They’re making another one” I remember saying to myself. Of course, I sort of dismissed the movie (was probably going to see it as a rental) and was planning instead to see the movie Hands of Stone (in theaters) instead. Unfortunately, Hands of Stone was, for some strange reason, was pulled from my local theater that I usually go to and all the other nearby theaters as well (weird!). So I took a “wild shot in the dark” and chose to went to see Mechanic Resurrection. Unfortunately, I should just have waited to rent it or even wait for it to come to television as Mechanic Resurrection, which really warrant a second installment, was another run-of-the-mill action film that (beyond Statham himself) was pretty bland.
Arthur Bishop’s second adventure is helmed by director Dennis Gansel, who has previously directed such movies as Before the Fall and We Are The Night. Trying to seek for a “franchise tag” to The Mechanic, Gansel tries to emulate Statham’s more well-known series (The Transporter) in Resurrection. It’s a bit grittier and action based than the first installment with more setups for Statham to prove his worth as an action hero. I mean, if you’re an absolute action movie junkie, then Mechanic Resurrection will definitely be to your liking. As a sidnote, several of the set pieces and various locales of the film are pretty sleek and cool looking. Additionally, the film’s music (composed by Mark Isham) is actually pretty good. While it’s no Hans Zimmer or Michael Giacchino, Isham’s music is probably a highlight of the movie, which isn’t saying much about the movie (if you know what I mean).
Unfortunately, there are more problems with Mechanic Resurrection than there are positives. First (and foremost), is that moviegoers didn’t cry out for a sequel film to be made. The Mechanic was okay and held its own, but honestly didn’t really warrant a continuation of Bishop’s dangerous life. Thus, Mechanic Resurrection is (for a lack of a better term) completely unnecessary as a feature film. Next, the script, penned by Philp Shelby and Tony Mosher, is pretty vanilla. It starts out somewhat interesting, but by the time the film’s second act approaches, the story’s script goes in a more action movie standard, playing to the common troupes of its genre (only to a lesser degree). This, of course, means that the Mechanic Resurrection follows a formula, making the movie feel less suspenseful than what it wants to be and a bit predictable to the touch. Even for a 99-minute film, the movie felt like there wasn’t much to it, with the narrative’s main plot feeling a bit thin and just trying to grasp at ideas / scenarios that Statham’s Bishop can do. Coinciding with that thought is the fact that Resurrection’s pacing is a bit wonky. Like all action flicks, the movie begins with an opening salvo of action nuances. However, after that, Resurrection slows down and I do mean painfully slows down for almost the entire first act. Things do begin to move along at the beginning of the second act, but, by that time, I personally began to lose interest in the movie and I’m pretty sure that the same will happen to many other viewers. Finally, there’s the CG effects in the movie, which, at times, is mediocre and almost cringe worthy in a few scenes (you can obviously tell some shots were green screened).
Perhaps the greatest saving grace of Mechanic Resurrection (if any) is that of actor Jason Statham as the role of Arthur Bishop. Just like how everything says about Morgan Freeman (i.e. Morgan Freeman does what Morgan Freeman does best…. act like Morgan Freeman), Statham shines as the brooding action hero type. Punching, kicking, dodging, and shooting guns, Statham seems to be right at home with this architype role found in Bishop. Plus, just like Bruce Willis role of John McClane from the movie Die Hard, you know that Statham’s Bishop is a badass when he’s running around and “kicking butt” barefooted for more than half of the movie. However, even when playing to his strengths, Mechanic Resurrection is nowhere near Statham’s best. It’s not a memorable role for him (nowhere near his iconic role of Transporter’s Frank Martin), but Statham does want he can with it, salvaging one of the few likeable reasons to see this film.
Behind Statham is actress Jessica Alba plays as the film’s female lead Gina. While I do love Alba as an actress (she damn pretty), her presence in this movie is lackluster. She just doesn’t elevate herself to being just the common damsel-in-distress role. Sadly, despite how “good-looking” the two leads appear (Statham as roguish male with a heavy 5 o’clock shadow and Alba as a pretty “babe in the woods” appearance), the suppose love interest between her and Statham is feigned and almost forced upon the viewers as neither one has chemistry with each other (in both actor / actress and in their respective characters of Bishop and Gina).
As for the film’s antagonist, it’s a pretty weak / clichéd one, with actor Sam Hazeldine playing the nefarious Crain. Hazeldine looks the part (the stereotypical European baddie in action movies), but doesn’t bring anything new to the table in the form of originality or being memorable and just ends being a flat note villain. In a smaller supporting role are actress Michelle Yeoh as the kind-hearted Mae, an individual who helps Bishop, and actor Tommy Lee Jones as American drug dealer kingpin Max Adams, who does a good job in elevating his small role into being somewhat memorable and a bit reminiscent to his character from 1992’s Under Siege (if with quoting a line from that movie in Mechanic Resurrection).
Statham’s Bishop returns for another escapade of action, explosion, and close quarter combat with Mechanic Resurrection. Director Dennis Gansel’s sequel to the 2011 remake goes full-throttle action with Jason Statham leading the charge and few nifty action scenes. Unfortunately, beyond the lead role, there’s not much to like about this movie from its weak story and script (including action clichés), mostly bland scenarios, and a couple shoddy CG effects. To me, the movie was pretty “meh” as it had its moments, but felt like a generic action movie. It is for that reason why I would give this movie a “skip it”, unless you’re a diehard Jason Statham fan. While a franchise tag was its intended goal, Mechanic Resurrection, however, is more like a franchise killer, making it (presumably) the last and final chapter of Statham’s Arthur Bishop.
2.4 Out of 5 (Skip It)
Released On: August 26th, 2016
Reviewed On: August 28th, 2016
Mechanic Resurrection is rated R for violence throughout and language