What happened, Jason Statham? When you came out with the original Transporter film, it felt like a charismatic new action star had been born. But that was 12 years ago, and since then it seems that you have resigned yourself to the same cliched films about anti-heroes who choose to kick their way out of any foreseeable problems. The latest exercise in mediocrity is the The Mechanic: Resurrection, a predictable action romp that marks the lowest point in the careers of everyone involved.
In yet another story of “action hero saves his damsel in distress girlfriend,” Resurrection‘s plot stands apart from its competition by doing everything it can to offer nothing new. Character motivations are bluntly explained, providing little to no further intrigue into our protagonists, and thus no room for emotional attachment. Villains run the gambit of Russian, Asian and African stereotypes, often resorting to bizarrely outdated stereotypes so as to not stray from what audiences have already seen in older, better films (at one point, an African warlord/shaman literally explains that “My juju shows me everything”). It’s fine for a film to understand what it is, but to try so little to make anything about the plot unique causes Resurrection to feel that much more wasteful of the audiences time.
Worsening the by-numbers plot is a cast that simply doesn’t try. Statham sleepwalks through the same quiet, professional badass he’s portrayed for years, offering no distinction to make you forget this is just Jason Statham playing Jason Statham. Jessica Alba is a bore as Statham’s girlfriend, a stock forgettable damsel who only serves to motivate our her and occasionally provide the standard bikini shot to try and shamelessly lure in younger viewers. A special mention must be given to Tommy Lee Jones, who at least chooses to overact his bad performance, making him an enjoyable train wreck to watch. Much like the rest of the film, the remainder of the cast serve only to fill out typical bad guy roles that even the 80’s grew out of, only adding further to Resurection’s simplicity and tedium.
You would at least expect a Jason Statham action flick to try and present something worthwhile in its action, but the film seems especially lacking here. Statham delivers the same roundhouse kicks to the same goons over and over again throughout the film, providing little variation or visually interesting elements to make fights stand out. The henchmen Statham fights are all the same poor aiming, unable to fight cannon fodder that don’t so much make him look like a badass, but instead displays how inept our villains are, further adding to Mechanic’s tedium. With how prevalent good action is to find, even in television offerings like the Netflix Marvel shows, Resurrection’s lackluster action exemplifies the lack of effort present in all other aspects in the film.
A soulless, forgettable film, there’s nothing here to recommend anyone go out and see, even for fans of cheesy b-films. As a former fan of Statham’s work, it’s sad to see him reach this point in his career, where it’s clear that paychecks take priority over innovation. Were anyone really trying, you could at least expect to have a few drinks and laugh at yet another Statham bomb. As it currently stands, however, The Mechanic: Resurrection seems ironically titled, as it marks the final nail in the downward spiral of Statham’s career.
Arbitrary Numerical Rating: 3 Failed Career Resurections out of 10