Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Mechanic: Resurrection' Is a Brain-Dead Action Movie

I think I haven’t seen 2011’s The Mechanic yet.  Or if I did, it was so forgettable that I can’t remember now if I had seen it.  I wasn’t even immediately aware that this year’s Mechanic: Resurrection is a sequel.   When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was a stand-alone movie.  That trailer made me interested of watching it.  I was drawn by the featured scene in the trailer wherein Jason Statham does a skyscraper stunt, which reminded me a lot of Tom Cruise’s iconic, breathtaking Burj Khalifa stunt in Ghost Protocol.  I knew immediately that this was going to be a bad movie (the trailer already thoroughly summarized the plot), but I had hopes it was going to be one of those entertaining, turn-your-brain-off, popcorn action films.

Mechanic: Resurrection follows the calculating hitman Arthur Bishop (Statham) a.k.a. The Mechanic, who is forced out of retirement when the woman he loves, Gina Thorne (Jessica Alba), is kidnapped by a notorious arms dealer named Riah Craine (Sam Hazeldine).  In exchange for Gina’s life, Bishop is tasked to kill three of Craine’s competitors while making their deaths appear like accidents.  But Bishop turns the tables when he decides to collaborate with one of the targets (Tommy Lee Jones) instead.
The scene that made me interested with this movie in the first place – Bishop climbing a skyscraper to sabotage a penthouse apartment pool, which sends his second target plummeting to his death – is indeed thrilling.  The scene was likely more of green screen than the actual deal, as with Tom Cruise in Ghost Protocol – thus, it wasn’t nearly as fantastic – but it was still a fun moment.

Unfortunately, outside that skyscraper-hanging scene and an early scene wherein he jumps from a cable car into a glider, the rest of the movie isn’t as exciting.  The story is brutally clichéd.   Plot holes and lazy plot conveniences consistently pop out in the narrative.  Most of the action sequences are devoid of electrifying or noteworthy elements.  It was an action film that unfortunately didn’t truly made me invested.

Now, I don’t expect all movies to be cerebral masterpieces.  I also love dumb, loud, campy action films.  They’re very enjoyable for what they are.  But Mechanic: Resurrection is so stupid, one not only needs to “turn his brain off” to enjoy it, but be completely brain dead.
Which is a shame, really, since I think the Mechanic is an interesting enough action hero to deserve being in a better action movie. He’s far from being as memorable and terrific as another meticulous and multi-talented Statham character, The Transporter, but he has his notably badass moments.  I like how he keeps stashes of money, weapons, computer hardware, passports, and cellphones in different places in the world.  I also like how he’s not all brawn, but also proves to be a thorough planner and capable tactician.  At the hands of a much better written script and more inspired direction, the Mechanic can have a more worthwhile and exciting adventure.

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