In 2011, “Con Air” director Simon West directed the Jason Statham action vehicle “The Mechanic,” a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film, about professional assassin Arthur Bishop who makes his hits look like accidents. The film garnered mixed reviews and grossed over $60 million worldwide. Now, Statham returns as Bishop in the sequel “Mechanic: Resurrection” and critics are still mixed on the latest high-octane action fare.
Los Angeles Times‘ Noel Murray says that when the film clicks “it becomes action cinema in its purest visual form: just one buff, taciturn dude doing major damage to his enemies,” but that only constitutes about half the movie. He suggests to “fast-forward to the stunts” when it comes out on home video, arguing that you “won’t miss a thing.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Frank Scheck claims that “Resurrection” is “certainly watchable” because of the “elaborately staged action sequences and Statham’s killer charisma,” but that “this would-be franchise is fairly indistinguishable” from other Statham properties, like the “Crank” series.
On the more negative side of things, RogerEbert.com’s Glenn Kenny gives the film 1.5 stars out of 4 and says it “suffers from a storyline and script that strains credulity and insults intelligence even by the low bar set by the majority of contemporary action movies.” Nevertheless, he praises Tommy Lee Jones’ cameo appearance and the work of the film’s production designers.
However, on the more positive side, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman praises “Resurrection” by saying it’s what the first “Mechanic” should have been, “a bite-sized Bond film, or maybe a grittier homicidal knockoff of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series, with a lone-wolf renegade as the entire team.” He commends the film’s “compact efficiency” as well as Statham’s lean, minimalist performance, calling him the “thinking man’s smart/dumb B-movie action star.”
“Mechanic: Resurrection” is in theaters now.