The Mechanic: Resurrection 

Beginning in 1960 with his breakout role in The Magnificent Seven through to the late 80s, Charles Bronson managed to carve out a hugely successful career for himself with a slew of modestly budgeted westerns and contemporary action thrillers. Many of them, like Red Sun, Chato's Land, Hard Times and Death Wishbelied their B-picture DNA by exhibiting a level of style and narrative assurance few of today's CGI- bloated genre movies aspire to let alone achieve. The Michael Winner-directed The Mechanic from 1972 was a quintessential Bronson vehicle positing the craggy-faced star as a professional hitman specialising in making his victims' deaths look like accidents. The great Jan-Michael Vincent co-starred as his duplicitous apprentice.


To give it what little due it deserves, Simon West's 2011 remake featuring Jason Statham and Ben Foster in the key roles, paid enough grudging lip-service to the original's narrative beats to make it at least partially tolerable. This sequel, deferring to the original only through the appropriation of the character's name and nominal profession, is a horse of a different color.

As written by Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher, a couple of clueless boffins who would do well to brush up on their movie lore, Bronson's taciturn, cerebral assassin has morphed into a generic, unkillable whirling dervish of an action acrobat unencumbered by the laws of physics or gravity. The perfunctory plot has Statham's hitman hopscotching from exotic locales in Thailand and Australia to the decidedly downmarket nether regions of Bulgaria in pursuit of three drug and arms-dealing scumbags who have kidnapped his girlfriend.

Clumsily assembled by German director Dennis Gansel, the film bears the unmistakable hallmarks of one of those cut-rate Euro-trash exploitationers that Steven Seagal has been churning out ad nauseum over the past ten years or more. The one redeeming factor here being the participation of recognisable brand name stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh and a grizzled Tommy Lee Jones who deign to invest their two-dimensional characters with just enough contractually obligated professionalism to justify their fat paychecks as well as their all-expenses-paid sojourns in sub-tropical climes.

If the producers of this misbegotten enterprise decide to make Bronson roll over in his grave again by bankrolling a third installment they might think about spending more time and money on a screenplay that panders less to a meathead audience's most basic instincts and more to the all-important sine qua non of the source material. As it is, based on the evidence here, this is one Mechanic that sure as hell didn't need resurrecting. Avoid at all costs.