Title: Mechanic: Resurrection
Release Date: August 26th, 2016
Director: Dennis Gansel
Release Format: Theatrical
Mechanic: Resurrection doesn’t care. At this point, we all know the Jason Statham drill by now. He lays down a few gruff action hero lines, punches people, kisses a pretty girl, repeat. In fact, it’s a wonder how out of the glut of Statham action movies, The Mechanic was the sequelized one. It certainly didn’t stand out from the pack aside from Statham’s decent buddy camaraderie with Ben Foster, who died. I guess any excuse to jam a machine gun barrel into a guy’s throat is a good one.
We pick up with assassin Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) in hiding after the events of the original. However, his new life of spinning records on a boat lasts all of a minute and a half before he’s thrown back into action. Arthur’s old enemy from child assassin school, Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine), has tracked him down with a job. Three kills that will greatly benefit his business, all needing to look like accidents. Arthur has no reason to do this at first, but then love strikes. When Gina (Jessica Alba), who’s sent by Crain to fall in love with Arthur actually does just that, she’s kidnapped. Now Arthur must carry out the assassinations or risk losing his bikini mod- I mean, new love.
Before any of that fun stuff starts, though, Mechanic: Resurrection puts its audience through a horrific first act. Things seem to kick into gear immediately, with a horrifically staged, green-screen filled mountaintop melee. However, things then grind to a halt so that Statham and Alba can fall in love on the beach. This segment, which feels right out of a Nicholas Sparks movie, goes on for a solid fifteen minutes. It’s complete with odd stereotypes, with Michelle Yeoh in an embarrassing role as the owner of beach bungalows. It’s an attempt at character development, but with players as flat as these, that doesn’t matter. We know who these people are from having seen any action movie before, let’s just get going.
Statham and Alba certainly aren’t doing anything remarkable to carry this film either. Stuck in the same no-nonsense persona as ever, Statham coasts his way through here. Sure, he’s always a ferocious presence once in action, but watching him play the same notes was old years ago. Alba is as bland as ever, clearly in the movie only to swim around in her bikini. We already have Into The Blue for that, no need for her here. Meanwhile, Sam Hazeldine is a useless villain, completely unimposing with no personality beyond being generically mean. Tommy Lee Jones is also crammed in during the third act, in the thankless role of one of Arthur’s targets. He’s given a bit more personality than his blander than bread turn in Jason Bourne, but not by much.
Enjoyment of Mechanic: Resurrection comes entirely down to how much shoddy filmmaking one is willing to tolerate for ridiculous action. Action that, even with some entertainingly stupid sequences, is workmanlike at best. However, there is plenty of it. In fact, this is the best adaptation of the Hitman video game ever made. Watching Arthur infiltrate his target’s environment with disguises, looking for weaknesses is a lot of fun. In fact, large segments of these portions nicely play out with very little dialogue. However, when it’s time for the fisticuffs and shoot-outs, director Dennis Gansel does nothing special. His close quarters, quick cut shooting style makes everything feel like mush. It’s not quite as bad as something like Transporter 3, which was incomprehensible, but it takes out the brutality. We know these people are doing choreography because the camera is covering up the kinks.
There are also some astonishingly lazy budgetary moves here. The green screen is on the level of a student film. This ensures that when Arthur does one of his many death defying leaps, it looks flat out comical. Shots are recycled within minutes of each other as if the crew didn’t have time to get more coverage. However, the most egregious sin is having two separate fight scenes on the same boat. Half of the production budget must have gone towards it because they milk that thing for all it’s worth.
As far as goofy action movies go, Mechanic: Resurrection isn’t outright horrible. In fact, taken as just a dumb way to spend a night, it’ll get the job done. However, it’s a very lazy film that only occasionally perks up for neat action beats here and there. Statham is still charismatic enough in these roles, but it’s time for him to diversify. Last year’s Spy proved that he’s got a great deal more to offer than this. I hope for his sake he takes more roles like that. There’s only so many more years he can still do this Commando shtick before he becomes a parody of himself.
- Statham's action star charisma
- Some entertaining action sequences
- Terrible Opening 30 Minutes
- Forced Romance
- Bland Supporting Characters
- Sloppy Direction
Michael Fairbanks is a lifelong film lover from San Diego, California. His favorite movies include The Dark Knight, Silver Linings Playbook, and As Good As It Gets. In addition to The Nerd Stash, Fairbanks writes for both The Young Folks, and his own blog, entitled Fairbanks on Film.