It’s hard to believe that this is the first and only Jason Statham movie for this year but it’s true, as Mechanic: Resurrection closes out one of the worst summers ever for movies on a decently high note.
Statham is back as Arthur Bishop, who we previously saw fake his own death at the end of The Mechanic in 2011. Now living in Rio under an assumed name, he’s tracked down by hired thugs of a man named Crain, who has history with Bishop and wants him to take down three high profile targets. Bishop refuses but he’s eventually forced to do the jobs when Crain sends in Gina (Jessica Alba), a relief worker that Bishop falls for, despite recognizing immediately what is going on. Mechanic: Resurrection’s plot kind of feels like a video game, with each of the hits being “levels” that Bishop has to beat. It’s actually probably the closest we’ve ever gotten to something like the Hitman games translated to the big screen, definitely more so than either of the actual Hitman movies. I was actually pleasantly surprised that this sequel keeps Bishop’s elaborate hit setups, which was one of the few things carried over from the original Charles Bronson Mechanic. The first two hits Bishop does are pretty great and it’s awesome to see his planning come through in ridiculous climaxes to both sequences and they almost feel like Mission Impossible light. They do feel a little short and I wish more time would have spent on them and less on the cliche opening where Bishop and Gina get close. There’s also some repetition that I’m not sure was a script or budget issue but there are two separate sequences where Bishop storms Crain’s yacht and while both set pieces are full of crazy Statham kills, it’s still strange to recycle the same location, especially since the movie globe trots around the world to locations like Thailand and Australia.
Statham is at peak Statham in Mechanic Resurrection and does almost everything you would want him to do except maybe get into a car chase in an Audi. There’s tons of his trademark, brutally fast fighting style and the movie really takes advantage of it’s R rating, which also has the added benefit of not having to obscure or cut away from the violence like recent terrible PG-13 movies. While nowhere near the quality level, some of the action is reminiscent of John Wick, especially the two battles aboard Crain’s yacht where Statham is employing similar CQC style gun fighting. Despite some pre-release press talk about not being a typical damsel in distress, Jessica Alba is pretty much a damsel in distress who sort of fights back at certain points but still need Bishop ultimately to save her. Tommy Lee Jones seems to be having fun getting a free vacation as Bishop’s final target who, if you saw the trailer, Bishop works with to try and fool Crain. Sam Hazeldine plays Crain and is a solid egotistical British villain in the vein of someone like James Frain or Sean Bean.
There hasn’t been a lot of solid non-superhero action this year so Mechanic: Resurrection is one of the best of the year kind of by default but it’s a fun, solid entry into the Statham canon and definitely worth checking out if you are a Statham fan, especially since we won’t see him again until next year’s Furious 8.