Jason Statham & Jessica Alba in Mechanic: Resurrection
I was really hoping that Mechanic: Resurrection, the five-years-later sequel to The Mechanic, would be at least as insane as last year’s Transporter: Refueled. That movie, rebooted without original Transporter star Jason Statham, would have benefitted from retaining The Stath, so I was hoping that Mechanic: Resurrection would be what Transporter: Refueled could have been, had The Stath stuck around. Plus, The Mechanic, while not an especially good movie, is a good Jason Statham movie, so it’s reasonable to have some expectations of the sequel. Statham is our modern Patrick Swayze: Talented and charismatic and particularly good at starring in ludicrous action movies. But alas, for every Road House, there is a Steel Dawn.
The Stath is back as assassin Arthur Bishop, now retired and living in a houseboat in Rio de Janeiro. The first thing you need to know about Mechanic: Resurrection is that it features a lot of boats. (I can only assume that Bishop likes living on a boat because of The Implication.) The second thing you need to know is that all the boats will eventually be blown up. Anti-boat sentiment in this movie is very strong.
Bishop gets pulled out of retirement and blackmailed into killing three people for his childhood buddy, and his compliance is guaranteed by threatening Gina (Jessica Alba), a hot babe Bishop meets and f*cks after he blows a boat up. Despite being attractive human beings in attractive tropical locales, Statham and Alba have no chemistry, and Gina and Bishop have no emotional connection beyond the fact that Gina works with orphans, and Bishop was once an orphan. So far it’s Orphans: 1, Boats: -2. The plot is needlessly convoluted, with Gina being blackmailed so that she can in turn blackmail Bishop, and also Michelle Yeoh is in this movie, looking dead bored the whole time.
After being double-blackmailed, Bishop sets off to start killing the people on his hit list, and this is where Resurrection got disappointing. Crank 2 is the gold standard for “crazy bad sh*t Jason Statham makes fun”, because all you really need to do in a Jason Statham movie is put Jason Statham in an increasingly challenging/bizarre series of action set pieces and roll camera. The setup is there, but the camerawork is so bad and the editing so jumpy that the fight scenes are oddly dull. They’re too blurry and quick to cut away to establish a rhythm. What should be an exciting crescendo is instead just a boring drag.
In the end, Bishop decides not to kill the third target, Max, played Tommy Lee Jones in a soul patch. (Lainey: was I supposed to know Tommy Lee Jones is in this movie?!?) It’s just a glorified cameo, but Jones makes a lot of interesting choices in this movie, beginning with the soul patch. And he’s either actually having fun playing a dirtbag in a Jason Statham movie, or else he’s doing his entire performance sarcastically—it’s impossible to tell “fun” from “sarcastic” with the permanent grumpy expression affixed on Jones’s face.
Anyway, Bishop and Max work together to save Gina, kill the bad guy, and blow up another boat. I never quite understood why any of this was happening, and I’m disappointed no one ever zoomed in on innocuous inanimate objects, like coffee makers. The more Jason Statham movies try to be like real movies, the less good they are. His best movies are the ones that have totally ludicrous premises and have only a passing familiarity with logic, like the Crank movies. Mechanic: Resurrection starts off promising, with the double-blackmailing and boat explosions, but then it tries to be a B-grade Mission: Impossible and ends up flat and dull. What a waste of The Stath.
On a scale of one to ten Jason Stathams, with ten being Crank 2, I give this movie a disappointing three Jason Stathams.
Allan Bregg/ Splash News, AKM-GSI