Directed by: – Dennis Gansel
Produced by: – John Thompson, Robert Earl, David Winkler & William Chartoff
Starring: – Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine, Rhatha Phongam, Natalie Burn
Runtime: – 99 minutes (1hr 39mins)
Revenge Is A Dangerous Business
The original Mechanic film starring British Action star Jason Statham was a 2011 action thriller remake of the 1972 film of the same name. In typical Statham fashion it was a solid movie that contained decent action set pieces and a premise that I really liked.
The premise of the original followed Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), an elite assassin with a strict code that the mafia refers to as the ‘mechanic’. Bishop efficiently killed targets in such a manner that their assassinations looked like accidents rather than murders. When his mentor and close friend, Harry (Donald Sutherland) is Bishop’s next target on his list, Bishop reluctantly murders him and vows revenge on his client who ordered the hit. Along with Bishop comes Harry’s son (Ben Foster) who seeks training from Bishop and vengeance for his father’s murder. This alliance becomes feared and they cause all sorts of mayhem.
Despite this intriguing tale critics gave the original mixed reviews and financially speaking the movie only managed to break even and make an extra $ 22 million of its original $40 million budget. So it was a surprise that a sequel was commissioned titled Mechanic: Resurrection.
This time round, Arthur Bishop decides that the life of a hit man is one he no longer wants to be a part of and fakes his own death. Now living in Rio de Janeiro, Bishop enjoys a serene life but this peace is only temporary. A femme fatale (Rhatha Phongam) who is aware of his past approaches him and offers a job to kill three targets. Bishop refuses and gets ambushed but eventually escapes to Thailand where he meets Gina Thorne (Jessica Alba), a beautiful woman who works in a children’s shelter in Cambodia who eventually becomes his new girlfriend. Things are good until the same group who offered him the job come back and coerce him into doing the job as Gina is kidnapped and used as collateral. Bishop gears up and comes out of retirement to complete three extremely difficult assassinations and he’s going to do it the way he knows how, by making them look like accidents.
With that in mind, can Philip Selby (Covert-One series) who penned the script and German actor and director Dennis Gansel (We are the Night & The Fourth State) do enough to validate this sequel’s existence? With Jason Statham back at the forefront who is joined by Hollywood beauty Jessica Alba and Hollywood legend Tommy Lee Jones, Mechanic: Resurrection has the pieces to be an improved effort. Lets take a look at the pros and cons.
- One thing I do appreciate about this sequel is that it doesn’t take itself as seriously as the original movie. So in tone it’s a lot lighter and a lot easier to get into than its predecessor, however it is important to note that this does not make it a better movie as a result.
- Leading man Jason Statham brings his usual cockney bad boy swagger to this picture and doesn’t seem to be slowing down in terms of his physical prowess as he still has his insane physique and agility. This movie once again shows why Statham is a solid choice for leading an action-movie. He brings a high level of intensity to the role and his trademark professionalism to his performance, so much so that when he performs bizarre stunts and trust me there are a few, it is believable.
- The movie is at its best when we actually see Jason Statham perform his duties as the mechanic. I really got a kick out of him surveying his targets and meticulously planning out his assassinations. These scenes were executed really well. It was really fun watching Statham get himself arrested so he could get close to a war lord and a personal highlight was the scene where he tries to erase an Australian billionaire in his pent house.
- The film’s other action set-pieces may not hold a candle to the assassination sequences but there are still enjoyable to watch, its just a shame that other than the opening scene we have to wait till the second half of the movie to witness them.
- Tommy Lee Jones has the honour of playing an arms dealer that looks like he’s trying to be a hip grandpa . Despite how short his time is in this movie he still manages to bring out another good performance and he also provided a few of the film’s best dialogue even though is one littered with terrible lines.
- An action movie with terrible pacing is a huge no-no in my books. Unfortunately for this picture, it is bogged with this cinematic sin. Other than the opening sequence, the crowd has to go through extended periods that don’t have Jason Statham punching or shooting a single soul. I get that the movie needs to have some sort of plot development but the problem with this movie is that it is shoddy and I genuinely think that the movie forgot that the best thing going for it during this drab period was its action sequences.
- Right I understand that we the audience are supposed to suspend their disbelief but the climax of the opening action set-piece, which is actually decent, is too ridiculous. To me, a man jumping from the top of a cable cart and landing perfectly on top of someone’s hand glider without killing the person or plummeting to his own death is a feat that is up there with ‘jumping the shark’ or ‘nuking the fridge’. What astounds me is that it happens in the opening minutes.
- I understand the movie like its predecessor had a $40 million budget, but that does not excuse the horrible green screen effects and visual effects that plague this film. At its best it looks comparable to an NBC thriller like The Blacklist at its worst it looks like a PS2- era cut scene. I’m not going to be soft because Deadpool a superhero movie that demanded visual effects of the wazoo managed to look good despite its $56 million budget.
- The premise of this film, compared to its original is very clichéd and predictable and if you’ve watched an action film of this vein, you already know what’s going to happen. There are no rooms for twists or surprises here.
- The movie’s dialogue is terrible and a lot of them were delivered through bad acting. Not even Jason Statham’s professionalism and Tommy Lee Jones acting chops could save some of these lines.
Other than the fact that Jessica Alba and Jason Statham are two extremely attractive people, the on-screen chemistry they share is not believable. The romance is forcefully fed on to our faces and happens too quickly for me to buy that Jason Statham’s character would go the extra length to save her life. It would have been more believable if the she were playing bishop’s wife.
- On the topic of Jessica Alba, I don’t care how attractive she is, she just doesn’t work in this movie. Other than serving the purpose of this film’s eye candy, she plays a character that gets relegated to the role of damsel in distress and she doesn’t really play a convincing one at that. During the promotion of the film she said that her character is empowered because she gets involved in a lot of the action sequences. Knowing her as an actor who once held had the lead in an action TV-show (Dark Angel) and was once Mrs. Fantastic (Fantastic 4), her performance doesn’t even hold up here and other than kicking a few guys in their private parts she doesn’t do anything action worthy.
Mechanic: Resurrection is a sequel that would have better served the mechanic franchise if it didn’t exist. Compared to the original its louder and dumber approach makes this action series with a unique hook generic, predictable and bland. There is still fun to be had in this is a movie but it should have gone straight to DVD rather than the silver screen.
RATING: – WATCH ON TV