Wednesday 31 August 2016

Review: Mechanic - Resurrection

Mechanic: Resurrection
Cert: 15 / 99 mins / Dir. Dennis Gansel / Trailer

In the opening montage of Dennis Gansel's action-sequel, the barometer on The Stath™'s house/boat reads 'fair'. Many other directors would have had it set at 'stormy' and lingered on the shot a microsecond longer. As it turns out though, the prediction is cinematically accurate, as everything which follows is moderately enjoyable and without a single hint of actual drama.

Don't worry if you haven't caught up with the first movie, it isn't even referenced other than a clip played on a character's mobile phone (not even kidding). Reassuringly stupid, Mechanic: Resurrection plays out like an action-movie parody advert for a deodorant or a premium lager. Anything outside of the action sequences and fight-scenes veers between distinctly-substandard and spectacularly bad, but at least the film doesn't rely on the cheap xenophobia that so many of its genre-buddies use in lieu of villain-building.

Two questions come to mind as the viewer ploughs through Mechanic: Resurrection. 1) Jason, is this because they rebooted The Transporter without you? and 2) Jason, did you write this? This troubled yet sensitive yet lethal character who succeeds at everything and doesn't have to change a single iota throughout the film's running-time? As with all the best reluctant heroes, this film sees The Stath™ go into self-imposed hiding before getting back into trouble around four minutes later when he interferes in somebody else's business. Next thing you know, he's blackmailed into doing a series of jobs and all's right with the world. A sort of GTA inspired mission-pickup plot device showcases The Stath's™ assassination techniques as being far more entertaining and inventive*1 than the script could ever hope to be.

The thing which probably bothered me most is that throughout the film, The Stath's™ face-fuzz routinely alternates between 'heavy stubble' and 'short beard'. Back and forth, for the whole damned thing. Although I imagine short facial hair over the course of a feature-length shoot is the bane of film editors everywhere. And to a lesser extent, it didn't go un-noticed that the cut/scabbed lip Jessica Alba arrives with, heals completely and without trace after she goes swimming in the sea ten minutes later. The health benefits of salt-water clearly lost since Victorian times, it appears. Neither of those are deal-breakers, of course, but if I pick up on things like the make-up department's continuity gaffes, it means that the film is singularly failing to hold my attention.

And as the film enters its third act, a third question coincidentally occurs: Has Academy Award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones' dramatic-currency devalued so much that he's prepared to don rose-tinted Lennons and a soul-patch as a second-tier bad guy in what is essentially a straight-to-video action sequel?

Evidently so…

Often terrible, often hilarious, but Mechanic: Resurrection is genuinely more fun than the last Bourne outing…

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Jason Statham in that film he did after the Guy Ritchie ones..

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Well as big and loud as the film is, it was clearly designed for the small screen...

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Just about, but its intentions were hardly ground-breaking...

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Inexplicably, no.
Perhaps the sound editor wanted to preserve the documentary-level realism of the piece, instead?

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: The Stath™ was, of course, in Expendables 3, as was Harrison 'Solo' Ford.
All roads lead to Han, today.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Oh, and if there's news report footage from a bystander filming the skyskraper-swimming-pool spiralling water out before it breaks, then there's got to be footage of The Stath™ swinging around underneath it at the same time, as he didn't make his escape until the whole thing shattered. So much for his 'making it look like an accident', which was the very reason he was hired. You had one job, The Stath™. One.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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