What the hell do we do with Jason Statham these days?
Aside from putting him around water and making him strip off his shirt a few times, in between head-busting brawls and the like?
He shows up for “Mechanic: Resurrection,” but only just barely. It’s a travelogue action picture about an assassin blackmailed into carrying out three last hits. Sure, he was supposed to be dead after “The Mechanic.” A colleague from his past knows better.
“Do this job, and go back to being dead,” the bad guy’s henchwoman insists.
But it’s only when a combat vet turned Sex Trade Women’s Shelter operator (Jessica Alba) is thrown at him, then kidnapped and held hostage, that “Bishop” takes on the gig.
He has hidden caches of weapons everywhere. He has friends (Michelle Yeoh) who provide him safe haven. And as he bounces from Rio to Thailand, Malaysia to Sydney, never shaving along the way, The Mechanic does what he does best — “make it look like an accident.”
“Resurrection” is a cheap-looking film, with the fights in these exotic settings looking like green screen backdrops with Statham kicking the crap out of villains on a soundstage. Not always, but corner cutting was obvious. No, they didn’t really blow up all those cool boats that get wrecked here.
The camera lingers over Jessica Alba in a bikini, but otherwise, she has little to do except look good while she’s being menaced.
The script is a perfunctory exercise in getting Bishop from A to C, with no attention paid to the logic of how he stumbles into Alba’s character, how he accepts her motives at face value, and how he doesn’t instantly take-out his tormentor.
Tommy Lee Jones plays one of the targets. With a twist.
Statham is wasting his last good years as an action star in Z-movies like this, when he should be hunting down the new Guy Ritchie and doing gangster pics in the UK, or hunting for the new Nevaldine and Taylor (“Crank”).
The German director Dennis Gansel (“The Wave”) is no substitute. And stunt coordinator Allan Poppleton may have done “Avatar.” But he also did the fights for “Hunger Games.” He’s no Corey Yuen (“The Transporter” movies).
Statham should hold out for movies that offer him more than a few exotic stamps on his passport.
MPAA Rating:R for violence throughout and language
Cast: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, Tommy Lee Jones
Credits: Directed by Dennis Gansel, script by Philip Selby, Tony Mosher. A Summit release.
Running time: 1:38