Director: Dennis Gansel
Jason Statham returns to screens in this follow up to 2011 update of the 1972 Charles Bronson movie The Mechanic. We catch up with Arthur Bishop (Statham) as he is living a quiet life having staged his own death at the close of the first film.
Things don’t stay quiet for long as he is located by Crain, a former childhood friend of Bishop’s. Crain didn’t escape two youngster’s nightmare existence the way Bishop did, claiming he left him behind; Crain has a score to settle.
When Crain’s first attempts to “recruit” Bishop fail he attempts to bait Bishop into carrying out the three eliminations he needs to remove his competition in the arms trade. He sends in the femme fatale of our story Gina, played by Jessica Alba. The trick being to become Bishop’s love interest and then kidnap her to force Bishop to do the three jobs. Despite being on to this plan at the outset it still works! Gina is taken leaving our favourite Mechanic to carry out the jobs.
From here on in, it’s as you would expect from a Jason Statham action romp. We globetrot around a little as he takes out the three targets in quite elaborate sequences and some in more spectacular fashion than other. It’s the spectacular where the film suffers really. In particular the high rise swimming pool scene, it’s almost like those old films where the car chases were all filmed with stationary cars and moving backgrounds. This looks a little cheap but not so much so as to totally distract the viewer. There are some well choreographed combat scenes that you would expect from the movie and some pretty indiscriminate fire fights. When I deliver my verdict I will offer a slightly different title for this film. With the globetrotting and elaborate tasks Bishop carries out and the manner in which he carries them out then the film’s title to take on a little more imagination.
What can we say about Statham? Well, nothing new really. We know what he can do in these movies and he does it here and well enough. Jessica Alba, on the other hand, is surely worthy of a more substantial role in other movies. Here she is nothing more than eye candy and I think that comes through on screen. The film doesn’t ask a lot of her. Michelle Yeoh also appears as friend and confidante to Bishop. I’ve never really taken to her; she seems so insincere and does little here to change my perception of her. Tommy Lee Jones also appears but this was easy money for him, he does what he does ok but screen time is kept to a minimum and this isn’t a role he will have to have immersed himself in too much. Our villain, Crain, played Sam Hazeldine is menacing enough however he isn’t much of a tough guy the way Bishop is and any face offs they have are brief and not massively spectacular.
3/5 Stars Mechanic Impossible; a more appropriate title for Bishop’s return. 90 minutes of Tuesday violence that won’t stretch you.