Jason Statham films are practically a genre of their own, with the same formula and conventions seeming to reoccur every time he takes the starring role. Mechanic Resurrection, a sequel to 2011’s The Mechanic, is Jason Statham’s 40th film since 1998.
Statham is renowned for his no-nonsense, straight-talking, fist-to-face action hero and he reoccurs yet again in this sequel as Arthur Bishop, the master assassin with a seemingly brilliant aptitude for science.
Bishop is now living life in solitude in Rio after faking his death in order to leave the events of the last film behind him. But of course, someone who knows exactly where he is shows up to offer him an ultimatum: do one more job for their boss or they take him out. This plot is explained within the first 5 minutes and leaves no room for any exposition which can feel a little bit jarring and full-on.
Luckily, Bishop narrowly avoids going straight for the kills and heads off to Thailand as he investigates who it is exactly that’s after him. These beautiful locations don’t stop here. Once he agrees to take the job due to the bad guys capturing A Pretty Girl, also known as Gina (Jessica Alba), he travels all over the world kicking arse and taking names, a highlight being the views from a pool on an Australian skyscraper. This location hopping could be seen as lacking conviction and just an excuse for big set-pieces but in this instance, it’s what keeps the plot from falling into a snooze-fest territory.
Alongside this, the crisp and clear cinematography plays a big part in making every shot a lot more beautiful than the average action film. The editing feels rather clunky to start due to a lack of establishing shots demonstrating time passing, but once the action gets going it really holds up. There are no blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots a la Transformers which mean we really get to feel Statham get his hands on the goons in some realistic and thrilling fights.
Another entrancing device used is the meticulous montages of Bishop setting up his kills. There’s a lot of science that goes into what he does and it’s mesmerising to watch him work. It gives a great satisfaction when you see his plan unfold as it’s not spoon-fed to the audience exactly what he’s doing pre-kill.
This film won’t be high in rating for a lot of people. It’s not a classic or an outstanding piece of cinema, however, what it does do is provide some things that are missing in many other action films, that may be what a neglecting group in the audience want to see. It’s a good start for those who may not be sold on the James Bonds or The Expendables of cinema but perhaps want something simpler and less brash – as much as Statham can be less brash!
MECHANIC: RESURRECTION – Releases 26th December on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD & UHD