Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mechanic: Resurrection

Well, that wasn't very good. Not that there were a whole lot of great options playing at a time which would work so that I could use MoviePass on a 7:10pm show the next night, although I remembered that this might not be necessary when I got the ticket. Ah, well.

I am kind of confused about what sequels are getting Jason Statham and which ones aren't these days. Last year's The Transporter Refueled recast his part, despite that character being pretty strongly associated with Statham, and folks really like both those movies and Statham in them. Meanwhile, I can't remember very much about The Mecahnic at all, other than it involved an apprentice who didn't make it into the sequel, and looks like the sort of thing where the sequels go direct to VOD with a new Mechanic played by a less bankable actor. But, no, they somehow got Statham back. Go figure.

Kind of funny thing: I was working on the review of Blood Father on my way to the movie, talking a lot about how Mel Gibson is in movie jail, and one of the best previews for this was for Hacksaw Ridge, billed as "from the director of Braveheart", which is weird - that movie is pretty strongly associated with him, but apparently saying his name is the point where he becomes an unacceptable liability.

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)

* ½ (out of four)
Seen 25 August 2016 in AMC Boston Common #6 (first-run, DCP)

That Mechanic: Resurrection was a sketchy idea was obvious to begin with; Jason Statham's first go-around with this character was not exactly a hit or considered the sort of mid-level of action movie that executes better than the bigger-budget ones (and the best element of that movie, Ben Foster as Statham's protege, wasn't returning). Still, when Michelle Yeoh's character asks Statham's to beat up just one obnoxious goon... Well, geez, that's not great use of resources on display.

If you don't remember how the previous film ended (I certainly didn't), top assassin Arthur Bishop (Statham) has faked his death and now is living off the grid in Rio. Old "friend" Crain (Sam Hazeldine) has discovered him, though, and soon has blackmailed Bishop into carrying out three hits that must look like accidents - African war criminal Krill (Femi Elufowoju Jr.), Australian human trafficker Adrian Cook (Toby Eddington), and American arms dealer Max Adams (Tommy Lee Jones), using pretty relief worker Gina (Jessica Alba) as a hostage.

The action crosses the globe, from Rio to Thailand to Australia to Bulgaria, maybe not all places where action films go to shoot relatively cheap, but the pattern is pretty clear, and it's a weirdly modular movie: It's understandable enough that each of the targets only shows up in one location, but Crain's headquarters on a boat isolates him and Gina - after she's introduced in Thailand, they could have shot all her scenes in one spot even as they're supposedly travelling the world. Characters whom it seems might recur disappear, and the episodes fail to build on each other in interesting ways. The repetition of material from Rio in Thailand and the way Crain finally enlisting Bishop takes forever makes one wonder if a lot could have been cut out of those segments.

Full review on EFC.

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