Mechanic: Resurrection, with Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by Dennis Gansel. 4/5
YOU could view it as a positive or negative, but action man Jason Statham seems to play the same character in every movie he is in.
From the Transporter movies to Crank, Statham’s stock in trade is being an unstoppable killing machine. Sometimes reluctantly so, it’s just that the bad guys won’t leave him alone and are virtually lining up to be killed.
He invariably has a background in special forces training, is an expert in hand to hand combat and equally skilled at handling an array of weapons, or the closest object that can serve as a weapon.
Sometimes he’s a down on his luck survivor (Redemption) and other times a suave man with a taste for the finer things in life – all acquired from his amoral skill set, as in the Transporter’s Frank Martin and his character here, Arthur Bishop.
But Statham is good at what he does, and he clearly has an audience who wants what he delivers.
The final scene of The Mechanic in 2011 left an opening for a sequel, and so we find the former assassin for hire Bishop enjoying his new identity in Rio, living on a yacht and getting his regular table at his favourite restaurant.
But his life of comfortable obscurity is rudely shattered by an unwelcome guest at his table with a demand from a “client” that he resume his role as an assassin.
Of course, Bishop is not one to cave in to demands, so a melee ensues with a bunch of henchmen and Bishop making a getaway James Bond-style.
He resurfaces at one of his isolated safehouses off the coast of Thailand, where an old friend Mei (Michelle Yeoh) keeps an eye on his property. But trouble keeps following Bishop, and he is pressured to help a woman in distress (Jessica Alba) who may not be as helpless as she appears.
It’s all a setup by his arch nemesis Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine) to force him to undertake three assassinations and make them look like accidents. Each is nearly an impossible target, but Bishop is the best at what he does. It also helps soothe the conscience that each target is a scumbag, from an African warlord in a Malaysian prison to an Australian tycoon human-trafficker surrounded by the best security.
The wildcard is arms dealer Max Adams (a fairly brief role by Tommy Lee Jones), who may prove useful to Bishop to finally be rid of Crain.
The action is spectacular, the scenery beautiful and the storyline solid. Good entertainment all round.