- Video Games
- About Us
Mechanic: Resurrection, the sequel to 2011’s The Mechanic falls comfortably within star Jason Statham’s wheelhouse – it’s a competent, predictable action thriller that aims to make up for its paper-thin characters and very little story with an abundance of action setpieces.
Directed by Dennis Gansel and written by Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher from a story by Shelby and Brian Pittman, Mechanic: Resurrection follows international assassin Arthur Bishop (Statham), who is enjoying a quiet life after faking his own death – but it wasn’t meant to be. An old enemy comes after Bishop, trying to get him to do one last job. Reluctant at first, Bishop agrees when the life of a young woman he cares for, Gina Thorne (Jessica Alba) is threatened.
Mechanic: Resurrection features a wide range of locations from all over the world – Rio de Janeiro, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Australia, Bulgaria – but they amount to little more than window-dressing. In fact, the movie isn’t shy about using screening for a number of its scenes, making them look especially jarring after we’ve just seen an establishing shot of the actual city Bishop’s supposed to be in.
A lot of the visuals in the movie aren’t all that impressive, actually. None are outright bad – explosions, though clearly mostly fake, are still believable enough – but the off-kilter CGI and screening make it difficult to really immerse yourself at any given moment. At one point, Bishop reads something on his computer that has a very glaring typo in it.
The movie scores some points early on for making Bishop and Thorne savvy enough to realize they are being set up by the villain – he wants them to fall in love so that he can use Thorne as leverage over Bishop. After that slightly clever moment of rising above action tropes, Mechanic: Resurrection immediately loses any points it got for having Bishop and Thorne fall in love anyway, the villain using her as leverage exactly as planned. It’s played so straight one has to wonder why the movie even bothered to try and be clever. It just makes the contrived romance feel all the more ludicrous. Add a pitifully shallow personal connection between Bishop and the villain and you have the bulk of what passes for character development.
The action is the movie’s bread and butter and in that regard it fares a lot better. It’s still average at best, but there’s some fun to be had in watching Statham kill dozens of goons at a time or plan intricate assassinations. The pool kill in Australia is a particular highlight, at least conceptually, as the visuals leave something to be desired. It’s somewhat amusing how cartoonishly evil Bishop’s targets are made out to be. There’s a scene in which one of them, who we’ve already been told has dabbled in child trafficking, can be heard ordering mass pollution of the ocean for profit.
There is at least one entirely pointless action scene that’s just there to fill up time – in between killing his targets, Statham assaults the boat of the villain to try and rescue Gina. He kills a bunch of people, isn’t able to rescue her and then just leaves. It’s hard to care for an action scene, no matter how well done, if there appear to be no stakes involved in it.
It’s not entirely clear why one of the kills, an African warlord in a Malaysian prison, needs to looks like an accident – in fact, Statham has to go out of his way to kill another asssassin, so that he can kill the warlord himself. Why a top hitman needed to be blackmailed into taking a job when the target would have been killed anyway by someone else is a mystery for the ages.
On a more positive note, I will give Mechanic: Resurrection points for having Bulgarian extras for all the scenes in Bulgaria. It’s not much, but being Bulgarian myself, I appreciated it. I can’t say if that’s the case for extras in other places, but I know for a fact at least parts of the movie were shot on location, so it’s possible.
Is there anything else? Oh yeah, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh are in this movie too. They add some personality and name recognition, but it really could have been anyone playing their roles and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
There’s a handful of behind-the-scenes special features on the disc. They might not be particularly long or comprehensive, but it still something of a bonus for those interested in that sort of thing.
Overall, Mechanic: Resurrection is marginally enjoyable at best and trite and tedious at worst. Fans of Jason Statham will find pretty much exactly what they’re looking for out of it – no more, no less.
Mechanic Ressurection is set to release on DVD, Blu-ray, UHD & VOD 26th December 2016.
(Media Assets courtesy of Fetch Publicity)