Action star Jason Statham reprises his role as Arthur "The Mechanic" Bishop in the sequel that nobody asked for, "Mechanic: Resurrection" (opening Friday, 8/26). It's the sequel to the 2011 film "The Mechanic," which itself was a remake of the cult 1972 film of the same name, starring Charles Bronson. The 2011 version only grossed 11 million in the U.S., and even with worldwide totals factored in, by all accounts, "The Mechanic" was break-even at best. But strong On Demand and rental numbers apparently made another go-around possible. The sequel is actually a mild improvement over its predecessor, but still just a throw-away action flick.
Arthur Bishop (Statham) is a skilled assassin, gifted in the art of killing people and making it look like an accident. In the first movie, we are told that his is a very specific skill-set...that's right before he spends the entire movie mindlessly punching, kicking, shooting and stabbing a number of faceless baddies. As this movie starts, he is being pursued by an old acquaintance, an arms dealer named Crain (Sam Hazeldine), who is wanting to hire The Mechanic for three kills. Bishop is not interested, so Crain - inexplicably - tries to take Bishop out (but doesn't he need Bishop for these kills? Oh nevermind trying to make sense of such things).
While in hiding, the beautiful Gina (Jessica Alba) is sent by Crain to get close to Bishop, but she quickly ditches that plan and actually falls for him. Crain uses Gina to force Bishop into doing his bidding, so Bishop sets off to carry out the three assassinations, all the while trying to figure out a way to save his damsel-in-distress and payback his old pal.
After an initial hand-to-hand fighting scene that culminates in Bishop jumping onto the back of a hang-glider in order to escape, the first 30 minutes or so are awfully slow for an action movie such as this. Even when things pick up, the situation is often so absurd that it is devoid of any real thrills or tension. Bishop manages to infiltrate an Alcatraz-like prison, and is told to kill an important kingpin and make it look like an accident. Don't pay attention to the fact that he not only kills one of the other inmates, but he ends up making a pretty big scene. It's like the filmmakers bring up a premise, and then by the next scene it's already abandoned, and we're not supposed to notice or care.
Tommy Lee Jones shows up late in the film to collect a paycheck, as an arms dealer dressed as a member of the Partridge Family, but by the time he appears, the film is already way past the point of redemption. Besides one cool scene, where Bishop scales a building to sabotage a man swimming in a pool that hangs over a penthouse, there is nothing at all worthwhile to latch on to.
A movie like this would benefit from some comedy, but this action flick doesn't even have witty one-liners. It's dull and imbecilic, and takes itself way too seriously even while nearly every moment screams with absurdity. Statham is a serviceable action hero, but this character is just a dud who should just stay retired. "Mechanic: Resurrection" is dead on arrival, and this installment should prove that this is a franchise not worthy of resurrecting from the scrap heap.
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Run Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine
Directed by Dennis Gansel ("We Are the Night," "The Wave," "Before the Fall")
Opens locally on Friday, August 26, 2016
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