After a terrific comic turn in Spy, Jason Statham has reverted to the norm. Truthfully, Mechanic: Resurrection is below the norm, and certainly below career highlights like Crank. I even kept mistakenly thinking this was a sequel to Parker until I remembered that above-average flick co-starred Jennifer Lopez, not Jessica Alba. From there, I had to read a synopsis of The Mechanic to recall the universe I was re-entering via this sequel—a pointless task, as Mechanic: Resurrection has nary a callback to its predecessor.
We are reintroduced to the world of hitman Arthur Bishop, whose peculiar M.O. revolves around making his hits look like accidents, while he is in hiding in Brazil. Discovered by a former acquaintance, Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine), Bishop heads to a hideaway in Thailand, where his pal Mae (Michelle Yeoh, briefly) awaits him. When a pretty young woman named Gina Thorne (Alba) is attacked, Bishop comes to her rescue, only to discover it was all set up by Crain. Now Bishop has to kill three of Crain’s arms-dealing competitors or Gina is dead.
Crain’s plan, though successful, seems flawed. Sure, assuming Bishop would save Gina is one thing, but banking on them falling so deeply in love that Bishop would plan and execute three ridiculously difficult jobs is pretty presumptive, even for an action villain.
The state of modern action has unfortunately kept the exceptionally lithe Statham from superstardom. Is he in the Jean-Claude Van Damme/Steven Seagal tier of action stars? With its boring baddie, soap opera lighting and rote action, Mechanic: Resurrection sure unfolds like one of those two actors’ on-the-cheap flicks. This movie feels more like a feature-length tax break for its backers. Why waste Statham’s charm with more humorless action when he so deserves an ’80s throwback by Shane Black? At least an oddly hip Tommy Lee Jones has fun in his tiny amount of screen time. Unlike Statham, Alba was gifted stardom for a decade and a half, when she is really right at home as the pretty face in sun-drenched VOD dreck like Mechanic: Resurrection.
Ever wonder what James Bond would be like as a Neanderthal? Check out Mechanic: Resurrection, though that idea would make a better “SNL” sketch (think Phil Hartman’s “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” with a license to kill) than it does a movie. One has to question the business plan to sell a sequel to a movie whose name no one recognizes; they might as well have called it Bishop. Or Jason Statham Kicks Ass. That last title probably would have sold more tickets.
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