Hey, do you remember 2011’s The Mechanic? It was a remake of an old Charles Bronson film, and starred Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland and Tony Goldwyn. Remember? No? Yeah, me neither, despite seeing it. Dustin saw it too, and reviewed it. At the time, he said “it’s suitable for the Netflix queue, right above all the documentaries you’ve saved but will never actually watch”, which feels about right. Do you remember when moviegoers everywhere were clamoring for a sequel? No? Yeah, that’s because that never happened, and never should happen.
And yet, Statham is back as hitman-with-a-conscience Arthur Bishop, this time living a quiet life of retirement in Rio. Except, of course, a very bad man named Crain (Sam Hazeldine) wants to drag him back into the life of killing, by getting him to carry out three preposterously complicated assassinations (further complicated by the fact that Bishop’s specialty is making his murders look like accidents). Bishop turns him down, there’s a fight, he escapes. Bishop runs away to Thailand, meets a beautiful woman named Gina (Jessica Alba - wait, Jessica Alba? Really? Well raise my rent), there’s a fight, he doesn’t escape. Crain threatens to kill Gina unless Bishop carries out the assassinations. There are more fights, more escapes, and then a big fight and a big escape and voila, movie!
That’s literally all there is to the movie. It’s an idiotic mess of a movie that’s only barely worth even writing about, except to tell you to just not bother. It’s listless and lifeless and lackluster. The beginning is fine, I guess, and the astonishingly rapid courtship between Gina and Bishop is nice because a) Alba has become a marginally better actress now that she’s a bit more mature and b) the two of them are in bathing suits for the entire time they’re in Thailand and goddamn, they are two incredibly attractive people. But that’s the best I’ve got. There are gunfights, and fistfights, and Mission Impossible-style feats of sneakiness from Bishop as he carries out the increasingly silly assassinations, even though you know he’s going to be double crossed in the end. There’s even a part for Tommy Lee Jones, playing the good kind of arms dealer, who has a soul patch and wears John Lennon sunglasses, yet still looks like someone just propped up Jones’ corpse up with sticks and periodically tasered it to generate movement.
There are no surprises here, and even Statham, a man whose career has been predicated on his remarkable physicality, fails to really impress or excite (other than via his rampant shirtlessness). Alba’s character is fine, I guess, but still prone to lapses of blankness and smiling nervously as if she’s not quite sure that she’s on the right set, but what the hell, let’s go for it. For some damned reason, Michelle Yeoh is here, which is just insulting to her and I want to send her a nice pie or something. I have no idea who Sam Hazelton is, but he rasps well enough, I guess.
Oh! There’s also some spectacular racial stereotyping — all of the black men are part of an evil African warlord’s goon squad, and they drink and fight and believe in some sort of voodoo, dressed in pseudo-African garb even while in prison.
Mechanic: Resurrection is dumb, but at least it’s forgettably dumb. It’s probably going to win the award for most forgettable movie of 2016, and in a year full of boring shit, that’s a hell of a prize to take home and set on fire. Don’t see it. Don’t rent it. If it shows up on Netflix some day, just… don’t bother. Spend your time eating a pizza, or watching TV, or playing video games, or day-drinking, or masturbating. Or all of the above, all at once. Or spend it staring at a blank wall, contemplating your stupid, futile existence. Even that is time better spent than watching Mechanic: Resurrection.