Director: Dennis Gansel
Runtime: 98 minutes
Date of Release: August 26 2016
Production Company: Davis Films, Millennium Films and Chartoff-Winkler Productions
On Friday I decided to go to the Cinema to see Mechanic: Resurrection, the sequel to the 2011 Jason Statham film the Mechanic. I have decided to share a few thoughts about it here in case you are planning to go see it sometime. Well I will try as possible not to put in any spoilers but I can’t give any guarantees.
The movie stars Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop, the mechanic in the movie, Jessica Alba plays his love interest, Gina Thorne a soldier turned volunteer worker at a shelter in Cambodia, Sam Hazeldine plays Riah Crain the main bad guy in the movie and Tommy Lee Jones plays Max Adams, an arms dealer whom Bishop is ordered to kill. After the events of the Mechanic, Bishop has faked his own death, retired to Brazil and now goes by the name Santos. When he is attacked by the agents of Riah Crain he goes to Thailand, to the house of Mae an old friend to hide. There he meets and falls in love with Gina Thorne. It turns out that Gina was blackmailed by Crain to blackmail Bishop. Crain then kidnaps Gina and threaten to kill her unless Bishop kills three people, General Krill, an African warlord, imprisoned in Malaysia, Adrian Cook, a child trafficker in Australia and Max Adams an arms trafficker in Bulgaria. Bishop kills Krill and Cook, but decides to spare Adams and instead turns the Crain and kills him.
If you turned up at a Jason Statham movie, to see a coherent plot, well written and fleshed out characters and good acting, you deserve all the disappointment you are going to get. The main reason one goes to see a Jason Statham movie is to see him punch and shoot bad guys in the face, and to the movie’s credit, the movie gives us lots of that, and that is about the only the redeeming feature this movie has.
I first knew it was going to be a long one and a half hours when the movie started with the terrible shaky cam that got me scared I was going to come down with a severe case of epilepsy, but which at least I could endure because at least (a conspicuously old looking) Statham was shooting bad guys in their bad faces. After nearly making me vomit on the cute lady in front of me in the screening room, the film changed tack and to bore me to sleep by making me watch like an hour of Jason Statham do boring things like not punch bad guys in the face, look at stuff with binoculars, fall in love and have simulated PG rated sex (simulated PG rated sex in an R18 movie? Are you messing with me, movie?). The film then gets even worse from there. The camera work and the editing are so lazy and so bad that what should have been thrilling scenes of Jason Statham punching and shooting bad guys in the face ended up being incomprehensible, dull and lacking in any kind of rhythm and consistency, what with all the blurring and cutting away scenes at critical points.
On the characters, nobody expects an acting clinic from Jason Statham, but he really cranks the “cannot act to save his own life” button to hundred doesn’t He? And here I was thinking nothing can really be much worse than Keanu Reeves and Ryan Reynolds. He and Jessica Alba lacked any sort of screen chemistry whatsoever; replace both them with an old looking (Jason Statham is now 49. All the action stars that I grew up knowing are becoming senior citizens *sniffles*) piece of wood who can shoot people in the face and a piece of wood and you will probably get the same performance. In fairness to the actors though, it is difficult to act well if your character sheet probably has nothing beyond “Jason Statham’s love interest”, “bad guy Jason Statham is shooting in the face” and “black guy in a Jason Statham movie”. The characters are so flat and badly developed that I had to read the Wikipedia article along with movie to be able to make sense of anything any character was doing and why they were doing it. And while we are talking characters, it is obvious that Riah Crain went to the Jesse Eisenberg School of badly written villains. Only that he is worse, lacking any form of personality, motivation or competence and so forgettable he offers zero threat to Bishop. He might as well not even be in the movie (you know piece of wood and everything). I am still wondering what was going through Femi Elufowoju Jr‘s mind when he agreed to act in this turdfest, because I believe that an actor of his caliber should know better. In 2016, when Hollywood has written okay black characters like Black Panther, Creed and Johnny Storm, General Krill is so stereotypical that he is hilarious. It was like the director grabbed a screenwriter and said, “Write out every racist African stereotype you can find and let us put it in.” Is a warlord who fought in the Liberian (Liberia is the only country that fought a civil war in Africa, folks) civil war? Check. Relies on voodoo? Check. Abandons his retinue of henchmen for a mighty whitey? Check. Is the first character with a name to die in the movie? Check. The fakest made up name in the world? Check. The only thing that doesn’t look like contrived bullshit about Krill is oddly enough his proper Yoruba accent.
On the subject of contrived crap, it is hilarious that the director of this movie really wants me to believe that a paranoid hired killer like Arthur Bishop will fall in love just like that that, or that the bad guys with the level of security that Bishop is ordered to kill will be taken out like wimps, or that Bishop knows the way around Crain’s boat more than Crain’s henchmen, all of whom obviously went to the Imperial Storm trooper school of shooting at things, which allows Bishop to just mow them down without even getting shot at least once. Or that a bad guy like Crain didn’t order Gina to be cuffed or at least tied down despite several successful attempts at beating the shit out of her captors. Frankly speaking this movie can go screw itself. One more thing, Jason Statham is a dick to boats.
All said though, you can go see the movie if you wish to. However I will give it a 3/10 at best and that’s being generous. The Mechanic: Resurrection? Filed under the list of movies I will not be recommending to anyone.