Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Mechanic: Resurrection

Cast: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, and Sam Hazeldine

Director: Dennis Gansel

98 minutes (15) 2016
Widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Lions Gate blu-ray region B

Rating: 6/10
Review by Rob Marshall

The original ‘Mechanic’ was Charles Bronson, star of Michael Winner’s cult crime thriller The Mechanic (aka: Killer Of Killers, 1972). Bronson’s portrayal of hit-man Arthur Bishop was one of his best performances, a cold-blooded calculating assassin who made people die in accidents. Simon West’s remake The Mechanic (2011) was a much slicker affair, a vehicle for Jason Statham to maintain his usual screen persona as martial artist but also rise above the simplistic hard-man attitudes of his familiar Frank Martin role in the trilogy of Transporter actioners, but also refrain from the outright craziness of antihero Chev in a couple of Crank flicks. As a remake, Statham’s Mechanic was, at least, a better drama than Gary McKendry’s rather tired and tiresomely dull Killer Elite (2011), which recycled the title of Sam Peckinpah’s The Killer Elite (1975), but chose an entirely different novel as its source material.      

Mechanic: Resurrection is a more than competent sequel. When he is forced to flee his hideaway in Brazil, Bishop decamps to a beachfront in Thailand where he contacts Mei (Michelle Yeoh), but the clever bad guys find him there, too. Bishop’s new girlfriend Gina (Jessica Alba) is taken hostage in order to force Bishop into killing off the kidnapper’s equally crooked rivals. Statham proves he is a better action movie star than just playing Stallone’s younger sidekick in The Expendables trilogy. Here, Statham is like a one-man ‘Mission: Impossible’ team. His targets are the top-dog convict in a Malaysian prison, an Australian billionaire in a fortress penthouse, and Bond-style super-villain Max (Tommy Lee Jones).

There’s a fair bit of romantic drama between the shoot ‘em ups and inevitable explosions, and Bishop is very sneaky when it comes to causing ‘accidents’ yet formidable in combat, with or without weapons. Mechanic: Resurrection is a perfect antidote to all the mindless action blockbusters (starring Stallone or Cruise) that are nothing more than shamelessly noisy wallpaper for popcorn feasts. Statham’s Bishop is not the same as Bronson’s. He is a standard antihero, but one with redeeming features. In the end, his escape from the killing business is a happy conclusion that doesn't seem too clich├ęd. 

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