Movie Review: ‘Mechanic: Resurrection’ has quirky moments, not enough to make it a hit
Look. Here’s the deal, Weirdowood.
I need every Jason Statham film I see to be as Statham-y or, at the very least, Jason-y as quickly as possible. If I don’t see the action star murder somebody with a discarded pair of pants within the first two minutes, I will kick the seat in front of me and make whiny, disgruntled moans until it happens or whenever my mother finally turns around and looks into my eyes (at which point, I will gently push her face away because I do not like to be looked at). Luckily, the theater in which I saw “Mechanic: Resurrection” was more or less empty because for nearly half an hour it was almost impossible to hear the movie over my whines and kicks.
To be fair, “Resurrection” does begin in the way a Jason Statham movie should begin; with a Cockney murder-beast burning the faces of several bald men on a grill, picking up a table and slamming it against the forehead of a woman (I know what you’re thinking, but understand, she was very mean) and, eventually making his escape by jumping on a passing hang-glider.
It’s all very idiotic and exhilarating, but unfortunately, it ends too soon. Now, I understand that every Statham movie isn’t going to be one continuous 97-minute shot where Statham drives a dune buggy off a skyscraper so that he can punch the faces of those who are dumb enough to lean out the window and watch as he falls to his seeming death, but with that said, I don’t understand why they all can’t just be that either.
Once the opening craziness of “Mechanic: Resurrection” ends, the film goes on an extended intermission as it explains who Statham’s character is and needlessly examines why he’s kicking strangers in the throat. Apparently, Statham plays a former assassin who is tricked into coming out of retirement in order to kill a trio of heavily protected crime bosses. How is he tricked, you may ask? Well, Jessica Alba pretends to be abused – even though she actually is being abused – in order to draw Statham out and then she’ll pretend to be in love with him –even though she actually does fall in love with him, at which point she’ll be fake/real kidnapped by an old associate of Statham’s (British character actor Sam Hazeldine). As convoluted and confusing as this sounds, it’s also painfully dull as Alba and Statham just kind of wander aimlessly around a Thailand beach, occasionally stare into a telescope and frown a lot.
But once the film’s idea of character motivation and plot development finally creaks to a close, “Resurrection” finally comes alive. Lacking the buck-ass goofiness of “Crank” or “The Transporter” series, “Resurrection” still has small, stupid joys of its own. An assassin’s prosthetic arm doubles as a sword, Statham escapes from prison through explosive bubble gum, an evil Rupert Murdoch analogue is murdered by his already very dangerous pool in a scene that plays like an Asylum Studios reimagining of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.”
Dopier still are the scenes with an almost casual sense of overkill where Statham’s burglar alarm on his yacht is revealed to be a good old fashioned bomb or any moment in which co-star Tommy Lee Jones is forced to play an arms dealer while dressed as a divorced dad from 2003 who just joined a Tom Petty tribute band. Maybe it’s needless to mention that “Resurrection” is dumb with a capital ‘duh’, but “Resurrection is dumb with a capital ‘duh’.
At its best “Resurrection” is Sunday hangover entertainment at its finest, at its worst, slight and forgettable. But being that “Mechanic: Resurrection” is an unnecessary sequel to an unwanted remake to a Charles Bronson movie only film nerds remember, it’s still much better than you could possibly ever imagine.
Mike Sullivan is a movie reviewer for Weekender. Movie reviews appear weekly in Weekender.
Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Sam Hazeldine, Toby Eddington
Director: Dennis Gansel
Weekender Rating: WWWW
Length: 99 minutes