The Return of the Mechanic: He Fixes Villains – Not Your Car!
By Farheen Jawaid
While not much is expected from action movies as a whole, few things are mandatory besides the action, and that is a kind of attachment with the leading hero or heroine. It can be done with a background story, revealed through dialogues, or the way they live, or a reveal that describes them as master of one’s art, pushed against their will into a situation, or normal people who become heroes when faced with life threatening situations, amidst a string of other generic ideas that makes an action hero, an action hero.
This, in turn, leads to a connection with the action, (even if its paper thin); we are not talking about full-fledged character development, but a portion enough to invest the audience (and not doze them off) when the on-screen carnage of blood, bullets and bomb hit.
When the things mention before are done in formulaic, halfhearted way, the result is something similar to the rebooted Mechanic franchise. While Resurrection is better than its 2011 older brother, the first half pans out as a bad B-grade movie, and then takes a turn for the better in the middle act with a Mission Impossible like mini adventures, which highlights, and then slams into a generic rescue/final fight with the main boss on his yacht and a subsequent happily-ever-after with the damsel.
1972’s Mechanic with Charles Bronson, wasn’t a gem, but definitely had its charm, as Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent gave an indication of being more than what they seemed on screen. Hints are given, but never really explored, and in parts their characters and the film in general was darker than expected; the rest was bad action and a whiplash end, that worked better then what Jason Statham (who reprises Bronson character Bishop) did to Ben Foster (who played Vincent’s Steve) in the 2011 version.
However, Resurrection is an attempt to make a franchise with Statham. However, with a box-office tally at $56 million, and an estimated budget of 40 million, the future doesn’t look that bright for Mechanic shelling more sequels.
Mechanic: Resurrection begins with Bishop (now calling himself Santos) living a peaceful life on his boat in Rio de Janeiro. It a normal day for him as he goes to a badly CGI-ed background restaurant where he is given the right to choice to say yes – and only yes – to the organization that employed his mechanic skills. (FYI: these are not mechanical skills, like fixing one’s car; the mechanics are super savvy assassins, who do the deed with minimum detection).
He goes on the run again, but ultimately get honey-trapped by Gina (Jessica Alba – which is never a bad thing), who is not really a bad girl; her life mission is take care of orphaned children in Cambodia and he has to help her save them and then her. (Don’t ask how).
Bishop’s little hide out is right in the middle of small Thailand retreat run by Michelle Yeoh who doesn’t even throws a punch or kick here. That’s how sad and wasted this movie is. While Statham wins with his action heroics and diving/swimming skills, there is just so much a person can do when the screenplay and the dialogues are so awkward that you cringe, and direction (by Dennis Gansel) feels lost.