Mechanic: Resurrection **Dir: Dennis Gansel. With: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh. 99 mins. Cert: 15
2011’s The Mechanic, a carefully calibrated remake of the Charles Bronson hitman thriller, presented as a notable development in Jason Statham’s transition from hired muscle to self-made leading man. This humdrum spot of repeat business ditches the definite article, and with it much of the precision and gravity. Formerly a meticulous one-off, Statham’s Bishop now looks more like another cut-price Bond, obliged to assemble his own lethal weapons while drifting through exotic Pacific locales in a dreary opening travelogue. Matters pick up with the three hits Bishop undertakes to rescue bikini-clad aid worker Jessica Alba: there’s an ingenious kill involving a rooftop pool, and it’s amusing watching Tommy Lee Jones’ return to Under Siege styling as an eccentric arms dealer. We’re stuck with a nondescript Mr. Big, however, and the perfunctory action climaxes with a submarine-base shootout that screams “direct-to-DVD”. The Stath, alas, is following orders throughout: given his revelatory comic turn in last year’s Spy, he may yet return to material that allows him to raise smiles and smash heads, but this shrugging afterthought isn’t it.
Mechanic: Resurrection is now playing in cinemas nationwide.