Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine, John Cenatiempo, Toby Eddington, Femi Elufowoju Jr., Anteo Quintavalle, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Bonnie Zellerbach
Written by: Philip Shelby, Tony Mosher, Rachel Long, Brian Pittman, based on characters created by Lewis John Carlino
Directed by: Dennis Gansel
MPAA Rating: R for violence throughout and language
Running Time: 98
Date: 08/26/2016

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Wrenching Experience

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's difficult for anyone involved to sell this sequel as anything more than a lazy cash-grab. It's weakly plotted, emotionally empty, and, with the exception of one intense set-piece, visually inept.

Following the events of The Mechanic (2011) -- itself a remake of a 1972 film -- Mechanic: Resurrection tells the story of Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham), who is now retired, living in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, he is found and asked to take on a new job, killing three men. Arthur refuses and disappears to Thailand; there, he meets Gina (Jessica Alba), who is subsequently kidnapped, forcing Arthur to do the killings.

The first one, inside a prison, goes off without a hitch, and the second, in a swimming pool perched on the side of a high-rise building is easy. On the third, Arthur recognizes an opportunity to turn the tables, but can he face his deadliest foe and still rescue the girl?

Mechanic: Resurrection begins by asking us to believe that Bishop would, after years of perfecting his hitman persona, suddenly fall in love with the pretty Gina, even after she has been used as a patsy to catch him. Her kidnapping is cinematically bungled, with many obvious cheats.

The fight scenes are awful, with director Dennis Gansel whipping the camera every which way, editing erratically, and ruining any choreography or training that Statham might have done. With the action undone, there isn't much left to care about, and not even an actor of Tommy Lee Jones's ilk can convey that he's here for any reason other than a paycheck. Only the swimming pool murder is momentarily suspenseful and distracting. It's too bad the rest of the movie couldn't have been that good.

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