Mechanic: Resurrection is a mindless B-movie with little substance of note, but those who enjoy Statham should have a fun time.
In Mechanic: Resurrection, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) has retired from being a contract killer and settles down in a life of peace in Brazil. One day at a restaurant he encounters associates sent by longtime enemy Riah Craine (Sam Hazeldine), who threaten to expose the fact that Arthur is not really dead if Bishop doesn't agree to perform three jobs for Craine. Arthur escapes and retreats to his home in Thailand and begins researching the people who are after him.
While there, Bishop becomes drawn to Gina (Jessica Alba), a humanitarian who runs a school for children in Cambodia. Her actions have made her a target of Craine. While Bishop and Gina plot a way to deal with their situation, Craine's men arrive in Thailand and kidnap Gina. Arthur is then given an ultimatum: complete the trio of kills for Craine, or the new love of his life dies.
A sequel to the 2011 film The Mechanic (which was a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle), Mechanic: Resurrection's primary goal is to deliver Jason Statham fans with another entertaining take on the actor's established brand of action. In that, it is mostly successful, though there are plenty of shortcomings along the way. Mechanic: Resurrection is a mindless B-movie with little substance of note, but those who enjoy Statham should have a fun time.
The film's biggest issues lie in the first act. The set up for the main narrative is borderline ridiculous and arguably somewhat convoluted. It also takes a while for the action to heat up, and most of this stretch of the film meanders along without being all that compelling. Screenwriters Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher try to use the romance between Arthur and Gina as an emotional anchor, but they fail in that regard due to a lack of development. The progression of their relationship is rushed, which will make it difficult for some viewers to buy in fully. This aspect would have benefitted from being fleshed out more (or being something else entirely). It also doesn't help matters that Statham and Alba don't exactly light up the screen when they're together. Their chemistry is serviceable, but hardly memorable.
Mechanic: Resurrection picks up when Arthur is given his assignments. Director Dennis Gansel makes good use of Statham and his talents in constructing the various set pieces. There is some enjoyment to be had in watching Bishop figure a way to handle increasingly impossible (and over-the-top) situations, but it does lead to some memorable moments. In particular, a scene reminiscent of Tom Cruise's famous scaling of the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is well-constructed and tense, serving as one of Resurrection's true thrills. There are times in the second act that stretch the concept of suspension of disbelief to great lengths, but it's nevertheless fun to watch Bishop perform his kills in eye-catching locations like Malaysia and Sydney. For the most part, the action looks good up on the big screen, though certain bits suffer from obvious green screen.
As one would expect, Statham is dependable as ever in the role of the no-nonsense action hero. It's true that Arthur Bishop is not a far cry from the characters the actor has played before in his career, but he still has what it takes to carry a movie like this. Unfortunately, the paper-thin script doesn't do him or his co-stars much justice. Alba is given very little to do other than be the damsel in distress, and Hazeldine's Craine is a very generic villain. Shelby and Mosher try to inject some backstory to enhance the dynamic of Craine and Bishop, but it comes across as contrived and forced without adding much to the proceedings. Tommy Lee Jones hams it up as arms dealer Max Adams and has some amusing interactions with Statham, but he too has little to do. Jones does lend a certain gravitas to the role, however, making a bit part stand out more than it would have with another actor.
One thing Mechanic: Resurrection has going for it is that it wholly embraces its status as a big, dumb action flick released during the dog days of summer. While that won't make it appeal to all general audiences, certain moviegoers will take pleasure in watching it. Resurrection doesn't try to be anything grander or more ambitious and works as a throwback to the star-driven movies from a past era. That's both a pro and a con, but the movie is tailor-made for a specific demographic. Even those who relish in the sights of Statham mowing down henchmen might be hard-pressed to call Resurrection "good," but the end result still earns points for knowing what it is and coming through on that.
In the end, Mechanic: Resurrection is probably what most viewers imagined when they heard a Mechanic sequel was coming through the pipeline. It isn't much more than a cheesy action romp, but as long as people realize what they're in for and adjust their expectations accordingly, they'll get a kick out of it. Unless one is a die-hard Statham fan, it's not worth the trip to the theater, but Resurrection could have a nice life as a guilty pleasure when it hits home media.
Mechanic: Resurrection is now playing in U.S. theaters. It runs 99 minutes and is Rated R for violence throughout and language.
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