Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Reluctant Assassin

British man-of-action Jason Statham returns as Arthur Bishop in the second installment of the rebooted 1972 actioner starring Charles Bronson and Jan–Michael Vincent.  One has to ask: “Why does Hollywood feel the need to remake what is essentially a mediocre movie to begin with?”  Then again, if the original source material is considered weak, our expectations for any reboot attempts will likely be correspondingly low (see what happens with ‘Ben-Hur’).  Brilliant!

While the 2011 film starring Statham and Ben Foster (in Vincent’s role) was a more-or-less “faithful” remake of the 1972 original and a moderate success at the box office, ‘Mechanic: Resurrection’ attempts to kick it into high gear and start a movie franchise a la’ ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘Fast and Furious.’  Bishop is hunted down and forced out of retirement by a sinister James Bond-ish British villain to take on three jobs (assassinations) that must be made to look like “accidents.”  So how does one force a badass like Bishop to do anything against his volition?  By exploiting his weakness for bleeding heart Third World volunteer and damsel-in-distress Jessica Alba of course.  Even I would kill for her.  She’s so hot!

‘Mechanic: Resurrection’ is one of those macho action B-movies that expects us to ignore its shortcomings - such as the lack of a believable plot or good acting - on the strength of its non-stop and thrilling action sequences.  In the best (or worst) traditions of 80’s action movies, it racks up an impressive body count and is best enjoyed the same way ‘Fast & Furious’ is enjoyed.  Don’t overanalyze or question its plausibility and just go along for the ride.  Just roll with it and you might find it a passable diversion.

Grade: B
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