'Mechanic: Resurrection' Barely Comes To Life
By Devvon Eubanks
True heroes never die in movies. Oftentimes, they are blown up, riddled with gunfire, thrown off of cliffs, and seemingly killed in almost every way imaginable. But somehow, someway, they always find a way to survive against the odds. They come back resurrected, stronger than ever, and are ready for round two. Cue the end of 2011’s “The Mechanic” where Arthur Bishop survived a massive explosion simply by rolling away from a gasoline-doused truck at the last minute. Pronounced dead at the scene, the creative agent went into hiding, never to been seen again. But now Bishop is back and ready for more action.
“Mechanic: Resurrection” follows former contract killer Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) as he is relaxing in Brazil and trying to leave his past behind him. Unfortunately, Bishop is soon discovered and forcefully brought out of hiding. Fleeing from the henchmen of one of his greatest enemies, Crain (Sam Hazeldine), Bishop winds up in Thailand and liaisons with Mei (Michelle Yeoh), one of his old business contacts. While on the islands, Bishop encounters Gina (Jessica Alba), an American tourist who is a plant by Crain to trap him. Falling in love with Gina and soon apprehended by the capricious madman, Bishop is given a choice to either travel the globe and complete three impossible assassination missions, or watch the love of his life die before him. The only thing is, they all have to be made to look like accidents.
The cinematography and plot detail of this film is very similar to the 2011 film. There is a lot of globetrotting, similar to most espionage films, going from a maximum security prison in Africa to the beautiful seas off the coast of Australia. The changes are quick and effective and are very similar to the plot and missions of a video game, like “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.” But even though the plot moves along well, it is very typical, and there is not much to hold on to here. However, unlike the last film, the fighting and action in this film are quite brutal and upfront. Bishop kills people quickly, without mercy, and in very direct ways. He bashes enemies’ heads on tables, cuts them viciously with knives, and resorts to machine guns and plenty of grenades in many hairy situations. But Bishop also has a more inventive and creative side, with plenty of gadgets, tools, and disguises to get in and out of facilities quickly. He is a different and more interesting character than the team player viewers saw in the past and is very similar to Steven Seagal in 1992’s “Under Siege.” Because of his creativity in tackling these assassinations, the movie moves along at a brisk pace, with a few stops for some decent character interaction and dialogue. However, here is where the pros of the film end.
Now while the plot may be decent and the action is spectacular, the character development is very lackluster. With big names like Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, and Tommy Lee Jones, one would think that this film would be ripe with character and interesting scenes that would move audiences. However, they only have very minor roles with only a few minutes of screen time at best. Most of the film is focused solely on Jason Statham, which could be a good or bad thing based on how an individual reacts to the burly actor. Jessica Alba is by far the most appalling on-screen. Her acting is a bit dry, she is basically a damsel in distress, and she has little to no sex appeal next to Statham. In fact, there is more sex appeal by Statham in this film than almost any other film he's been in. This film seriously could have been renamed “Mechanic: Shirtless Statham” considering how many times the actor is topless in his scenes. It is quite funny to see Alba in her swimsuit for a moment, and then in the very next shot, you see this muscular man come on screen and just completely take away the audience’s attention from the love interest. And for the most part, no one else is really important to the story. Crain is just another typical henchman seeking to destroy his competition and become the leader in arms trading and weapons development. He is an adversary that is no match for Bishop’s creative genius and abilities and it truly shows. Overall, this film is a one-man show for Jason Statham.
“Mechanic: Resurrection” is a tolerable sequel to the 1972 and 2011 films. It features some over-the-top action scenes and has a Jason Statham that is very much like his character in 2002’s “The Transporter.” At the same time, however, the plot is pretty boring, the character development and dialogue are not really interesting, and Statham completely eclipses almost every actor present for screen time, even next to Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones. For a summer action flick, it wouldn’t be a crime to go see it. But next to some other offerings, viewers could potentially miss this without an issue.