Mechanic Resurrection

 
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So I watched The Expendables, some years ago now, and I wasn’t that impressed. The idea of teaming up some of contemporary cinema’s biggest tough guys was a nice idea but in reality it was a little dull. There was one bit though where the film was genuinely exhilarating. It wasn’t a key part of the plot and it didn’t really help with the character development but it showcased one of its stars particular talents. It was just Jason Statham beating up six guys in a basketball court. It was over in a minute but it was glorious. 

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Statham isn’t exactly A-list and his performance skills are a little limited but he has real screen presence and his fighting skills are genuinely balletic. There are a number of movies that have used this to great effect, notably Fast & Furious 7, The Transporter 1 & 2, Crank, Blitz, The Bank Job and Safe. You have to be able to take watching a punch but there is much to enjoy in his filmography. 

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Unfortunately Mechanic Resurrection is not one to add to that list. The Mechanic, to which this purports to be a sequel but might as well not be, was quite good. A remake of a Charles Bronson film from 1972, it centred around a professional killer whose specialism was making his hits look like fatal accidents. It took itself a little too seriously (something the best of Statham’s films don’t do) but it had some smart ideas. Mechanic Resurrection doesn’t have any smart ideas.

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Things looked good four minutes in when our guy throws off some attackers in his favourite restaurant (they may not be holding a table for him in the future) but following this we get half an hour of weak storytelling as Statham and Jessica Alba fall in love in the least convincing way ever. Then, wouldn’t you know it, she is kidnapped and used as leverage. The dialogue sounds as though it is being improvised by people who are really really terrible at improvising dialogue and it is all highly improbable and uninspiring. At one point this man who kills people and makes it look like an accident kills someone by accident, which seems uncharacteristically careless.

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As the story progresses it looks as though things may get cleverer. Statham’s Arthur Bishop is forced to complete three impossible kills and one of them involving a swimming pool is quite interesting (the entire episode is in the trailer so just watch that instead) but the other two do not live up to their promise. One requires him to swim through shark infested waters and he gets round this by simply covering himself in shark repellant cream, which I’m fairly sure doesn’t actually exist outside of Adam West’s Batman movie. (Google suggests such a thing is in development and early testing but I choose not to believe it.) Then later on he needs to break into an impenetrable house with top class security and what does he do? What ingenious method does he find to outsmart the best safety precautions money can buy? Does it involve suspending himself from wires like in Mission Impossible? Does it involve building a replica of the vault like in Ocean’s 11? Does it involve a wheel barrow and an infinity cloak like in The Princess Bride? No, he just sneaks in the front door behind some guys coming out of it.

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All of this would almost be excusable if the punch ups were good but even these are not as impressive as we have come to expect from Jason Statham. A few people get a knuckle sandwich but mostly it is just gun play and the choppy editing kills any style there is in this too. 

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It’s all too mechanical.

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Is this one for the kids?
The 15 certificate might make some of the audience think they are getting a gritty, uncompromising, properly violent action film but a few blood spurts and some f-bombs are unlikely to be enough for this crowd in light of the film’s other failings.

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The Ripley Factor:
This is the one thing the movie gets totally right. The way women are presented is really progressive and the film should stand as a great example of feminist cinema. Nah, I’m kidding. It’s pretty poor here too. There is no female nudity, presumably because Jessica Alba has a no nudity clause in her contract (when she appeared naked in Machete her clothes were painted out with CGI) There are lots of shots of her in her diddy bikini though, including a lengthy episode of her swimming around underwater that seems to serve no other purpose whatsoever.

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Michelle Yeoh also features and despite the fact that she is one of best most stylish female martial artists to have appeared on the big screen she gets nothing to do here but serve drinks and spout cod wisdom.

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One thought on “Mechanic Resurrection

  1. It’s that same old cocktail mixed up by Hollywood again, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Another formulaic action movie. However, think we live in a different world these days – do we really want knuckle-headed cinema with scantily cladded women doing the same thing as before? Maybe because there will always be the teenage boy market to appeal to!

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