Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) review
The Green Screen Assassin
Mechanic: Resurrection has Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) enjoying his supposed death while hiding out in Rio de Janeiro after the events of the last film. A mysterious man from Bishop’s past named Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine) forces Bishop out of retirement and back into the role of a hired mercenary. Bishop has three kills to complete within a short period of time. Not only do the kills have to look like accidents, but Bishop is putting his life on the line for Gina (Jessica Alba) his new love interest that Crain is keeping hostage.
The Dennis Gansel-directed action thriller is a sequel to the 2011 film The Mechanic, which is a remake to the 1972 Charles Bronson film with the same name. The remake is a solid action thriller mostly due to the addition of Ben Foster, who has generally been an incredibly talented supporting actor for his entire career. While the film was filmed on location in Bangkok, Malaysia, Bulgaria, and Australia, which is likely where much of the $40 million budget was devoted to, you can’t help but notice that Resurrection was mostly filmed in front of a green screen during the fight sequences. The poorly constructed and digitally added fire to each of the many explosions featured in the film doesn’t make the film feel any less cheap either. It seems like Jason Statham is taking a page out of Adam Sandler’s book and using his films as an excuse to take a vacation.
In the opening moments of the film, you witness Statham throw a flurry of punches, smash a man’s face into a barbecue grill, plunge another man’s face into a seafood ice table display, and bash a woman’s face with a regular four-legged square table. The film suddenly switches gears though as Bishop hops over to Thailand to hang out with Michelle Yeoh for a bit before completely devoting his attention to Jessica Alba. The two are shown pretending to be a couple as they walk on the beach and attend a wedding before suddenly falling in love for real and having some atrocious clothes-on sex. This doesn’t stop Statham from taking off his shirt, which he does at least six times during the film.
It’s humorous that Statham can suddenly pass as a man who is obviously of a different nationality solely because he crudely draws the same dice tattoo onto his face. It’s also difficult not to notice the magical lip wound on Jessica Alba’s mouth, which disappears and reappears from scene to scene. In between Statham’s shirtless moments, he is almost always barefoot while on a mission. This seems absurd when he begins kicking a cluster of Thai police officers who are covered in body armor. If you take anything away from Mechanic: Resurrection, just remember that all of your problems can be solved with the strategic use of suction cups.
The highlight of the film is Tommy Lee Jones, who has a total screen time of maybe five minutes max. With the soul patch he stole off of Howie Mandel’s face, Jones is shown with two gold earrings in his right ear, rose colored sunglasses, striped silk pajamas, a gold bathrobe, and red slippers. Meanwhile Jones spews more charisma in those five minutes than Statham and Alba combined. Jones easily secures his status as the film’s real star when Bishop is shown making a phone call and Jones’ character Max Adams inquires if Bishop is calling for a driver, making dinner plans, or securing hotel reservations when Bishop is actually working.
Mechanic: Resurrection is a film that wasn’t screened for critics before its release. This usually means that said film is probably going to be terrible. Resurrection is bad, but it also doesn’t try to be anything that it isn’t. The effects are lacking and the performances are dull, but the last twenty or so blood-soaked minutes are full of grenades, machine guns, severed arteries, and a third and final boat explosion that attempts to outdo the eruptive highlight reel that is the rest of the film. If the last decade hasn’t already sold you, Mechanic: Resurrection solidifies Jason Statham’s status as a monotone cardboard cut-out excuse of an action star.