More noise than signal

Mechanic: Resurrection

Republished from the show notes of my other site, Fuds on Film.

Perhaps you recall 2011’s Mechanic remake, a perfectly serviceable Jason Statham outing that was in no way crying out for a sequel, but here we are. Such is life. Staham returns as the “mechanic”, or assassin, hiding out in Rio when agents of an old acquaintance looking to hire him for one last set of jobs threaten him, which does not sit well with the Stath, leading to an indefensibly daft escape stunt that rather sets the tone for the nonsense to follow.

There was a point in the early to mid 2000’s where Statham was cranking out movies like this, very much generic action, Statham-by-the-numbers films. The’ve not been so common of late, so while it’s unarguably true that this film does not a single thing to advance the boundaries of film-making and is perhaps the epitome of Statham-by-the-numbers, there’s still a degree of familiarity or nostalgia that this can coast by on for about half an hour, or until Jessica Alba shows up.

She, it turns out, is being forced by aforementioned puppetmaster to ingratiate her way into Statham’s life to form an attachment, apparently so that her impending kidnap will guilt trip Statham into getting back into the contract killing business, despite having known Alba for all of a day. Look, plot believability isn’t the film’s strong suite. Despite Alba telling Statham all this after the smallest amount of arm twisting, her kidnap still has the desired effect of putting Statham on the case of three increasingly difficult targets, in scenarios oddly familiar to players of the Hitman series of games, before turning his attention to the rotter who’s being playing him for a fool. A fool, I say!

It is a brash, stupid film, proudly showing this design goal at every opportunity, and to an extent I welcome a film than owns that, but it’s nothing like enough fun to get away with it. The script was, I believe, written by the Generibot 3000 script automaton from an input set of the most tired, hackneyed nonsense available.

I’ve seen a great many worse films in my life, but that’s no reason to recommend something that’s firmly on the wrong side of mediocre. As usual Statham’s a very watchable screen presence, but he’s never really had the vehicle he deserves. We can only hope this changes soon.