Mechanic: Resurrection online movie review - Despite occasional fleeting enjoyment and the potential to be 'so-bad-its-good' for some people, this is a bad film that's not only generic and stupid but also boring as well.
'Mechanic: Resurrection' is the latest cinematic snooze featuring the never charismatic Jason Statham, sequel to the incomprehensible montage that was 2011's 'The Mechanic' ? a film featuring less action than 'Sleepless In Seattle.
' Is it better than the first one? Well, yes it is but that doesn't mean it's good. It is so generic and clichéd that it not only seems as though the writers ticked off every action movie trope in the book, but then proceeded to viciously beat the audience over the head with it. Seriously, I wanted this to be a fun time but it really wasn't. Sure, there was some limited enjoyment but the majority of the film was just plain dull.
As I said, the worst crime this movie commits is simply being boring. By the time it gets going you're already checked out, so anything that happens seems even less interesting. The plot - if you can call it that - is hackneyed, hokey and honestly absurd. The first act crawled along at a snail's pace - feeling as though it lasted for ages - and, once the film does settle into itself, it plays out like a poor excuse for a video-game. Statham receives a new objective accompanied by some very expositional (and often impossible, in a 'when was he told this?' kind of way) narration, does the task incredibly easily and then rinses and repeats. This repetition really hurts the proceedings, as nothing is unpredictable and it all feels too familiar. The best parts of the flick involve the eponymous 'mechanic' planning and executing these missions, but all of them come across as a walk in the park despite us being told they are quite the opposite. A lot of the plans rely too much on coincidence and contrivances to be convincing, with a lot of what happens being laughably trite and candidly stupid. On top of that, scenes exist for no real reason and often feel very inconsequential. There is occasional enjoyment if you are prepared to revel in the general silliness of it all, and some people may find it 'so-bad- its-good' ? a woman in my screening was consistently laughing at the more outlandish moments.
The acting, or lack thereof, is some of the worst I've seen all year. Jessica Alba is more wooden than a pirate's false leg and Tommy Lee Jones has 'pay-check' written across his forehead in bold letters. Statham himself isn't bad when he isn't speaking, he is convincing physically and comes across well in the action scenes, but every time he opened his mouth I just wanted to yawn. To be fair, that probably isn't his fault this time as he has to deliver some honestly awful dialogue in one of the year's worst screenplays. He isn't inherently bad, I've seen him give better performances, but he has little to work with and almost nothing to do. Some lines were downright cringe- worthy whilst others were either boring or genuinely annoying; the characters were seriously under-cooked and two dimensional as well. We get the typical mundane 'British bad guy', the generic mean main-henchman, the overdone 'retired assassin brought back into the game' premise and the monotonous kidnapping/ black-mail combo commonly seen as an excuse for a belated sequel. There's not a lot to like in the script, even the (hopefully) purposely cheesy one-liners lack in impact. I didn't once get a sense of self-awareness or satire, even if the filmmakers may try to retroactively convince us that was the intention, and thus didn't feel any joy at any point; I never once smiled, but I constantly wanted to face-palm.
Technically, the film is mainly competent despite some jittery and occasionally muddy cinematography. The action sequences aren't egregious, but they lack any real impact and cut frequently at odd moments; there is also some obvious speed-ramping, noticeably artificial camera tricks and several skipped frames. The hand-to- hand is where this is most apparent, with the longer scenes feeling a little tiresome and technically unsound. The shorter moments of close combat work well, especially when mixed with the surprisingly efficient gun-play ? which looks decent most of the time and is framed a lot better than the fisticuffs. A lot of lead is slung, and a lot of people provide ample targets for it, but ultimately the shooting lacks any real impact as wave after wave of speechless meat-bags pile on-top of one another in a hilariously inept fashion. There is occasional and fleeting enjoyment though, especially when the focus is firmly on the excessive action. The CGI here is really poor, with every explosion either an obvious piece of stock-footage or a mid-2000s level 'fume' particle effect. In either case, they are poorly implemented into the live action with overt wire-work and weak on-set interaction compounding their unbelievable nature. There is some hazy green-screening as well, looking as though someone keyed out the green and then cranked the feather setting up to 100 ? either that, or they slathered the screen with enough Vaseline to completely undermine Ice Cube himself. It may have just been me, but I also noticed some artefacts in a couple of shots: small black cubes and minor pixilation. It feels like the shots in question were unfinished but rushed into the final product anyway. The music is really bad, too, with the theme being incredibly cheesy and sometimes out-of-place.
Overall, 'Mechanic: Resurrection' is a bad movie. It is poorly structured, often boring and generally uninspired as well as being blatantly stupid and excessively generic. The dialogue was terrible, the plot was nonsensical, the acting was phoned-in and the CGI stuck out like a poorly-rendered thumb. There was some limited and fleeting enjoyment in the action set-pieces, and some people may like it in a 'so-bad-its-good' kind of way, but I didn't have a good time and wouldn't recommend it: 4/10.