Mechanic: Resurrection (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 14-Dec-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Making Of-Engineering the Sequel - Inside Mechanic: Resurrection
Featurette-Scoring the Action Film with Mark Isham
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Statham on Stunts
Featurette-The Malaysian Prison
Featurette-Michelle Yeoh, Secret Ally
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 98:17
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dennis Gansel
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jason Statham
Jessica Alba
Tommy Lee Jones
Michelle Yeoh
Sam Hazeldine
John Cenatiempo
Toby Eddington
Femi Elufowoju Jr.
Anteo Quintavalle
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Mark Isham


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Plenty
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Returning to business-as-usual after supporting performances in Spy and Furious 7, Mechanic: Resurrection is an out-and-out Jason Statham action movie, an undemanding popcorn flick that bears absolutely no resemblance to its 2011 predecessor. (Or the 1972 Charles Bronson film of the same name that it was based on, for that matter.) Indeed, whereas the Simon West-directed first film was more of a 1970s-style thriller, Mechanic: Resurrection takes inspiration from the formula actioners of the 1980s, spotlighting Statham as he kills countless henchmen in a video-game-style fashion. Sloppily scripted and often cartoonish, itís indistinguishable from the likes of Crank and The Transporter, and unfortunately comes up dangerously short in terms of genuine thrills.

†††† Now retired from the contract killing profession, Arthur Bishop (Statham) endeavours to stay off the grid, consistently moving around whenever his location becomes compromised. Fleeing to a remote Thai island overseen by old friend Mae (Michelle Yeoh), trouble enters Bishopís life with the arrival of abused damsel Gina (Jessica Alba), who strikes up a relationship with the assassin. However, Bishop soon learns that he is being watched by international arms dealer Crain (Sam Hazeldine), who kidnaps Gina to force Bishop into completing three assassinations in remote locations around the world. Pulled back into the business of killing, Bishop has only a matter of days to pull off the near-impossible murders and make them look like accidents. Itís a tough assignment, but the assassin cannot deny his feelings for Gina, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue her from Crain.

†††† The whole enterprise is about as preposterous as it sounds, spotlighting Bishop as he manages to hopscotch across the globe in a matter of hours, calling upon his seemingly unlimited arsenal and impossibly vast knowledge of computer hacking, chemistry and engineering to get the jobs done. Each hit honestly feels like a level in a video game like Hitman or Splinter Cell, as each assassination presents its own series of increasingly difficult obstacles for Bishop to overcome, and a single mistake would spell disaster. Itís in these sequences when the movie feels most in line with the original Mechanic, as Bishop must rely on intellect rather than pure brawn, but the execution by director Dennis Gansel (We Are the Night) leaves a lot to be desired. The assassinations should be nail-bitingly intense and intricate (think Brian De Palma), but for the most part play out like throwaway action beats. Unusually, the movie endeavours to give real dimension to Bishop and Gina, as the first half is concerned with character drama and romance. However, it doesnít work; itís all very ham-fisted, badly-paced and dull. It feels like homework before we can get into the action stuff that we actually came here to see. When Alba is finally kidnapped, it comes as a relief.

†††† A huge issue with Mechanic: Resurrection is that itís undeniably cheap-looking, but not ďendearing low-budget 1980sĒ cheap - rather, its ďcontemporary digitalĒ cheap, which just makes the flick look lazy. Green-screening is uniformly terrible, while digital explosions look phoney and there is far too much obvious computer-generated blood. Hell, the movie even shamelessly moves to cheap, indistinguishable Eastern European locations for its final act. Even though the production budget is reported to be $40 million, this figure is surely an exaggeration - but then again, Statham probably took home a nice paycheque, and there are nineteen credited producers sticking their fingers into the pie. (Yes, f***ing nineteen!) Mechanic: Resurrection lacks the flair that Simon West brought to the 2011 movie, but there is admittedly some enjoyment to gain from the action sequences when they do finally arrive. Statham remains a capable man of action (even though heís nearly 50), and here he punches, kicks and shoots his way through an endless succession of faceless enemies. When Mechanic: Resurrection works, its cheesy fun, especially for fans of Statham or the action genre in general, but your mileage may vary of course.

†††† As previously stated, Statham does well throughout the athletic action scenes, and his grizzled face makes him ideal for these sorts of roles. The Brit is one of the last old-school action stars, and itís fortunate that heís so watchable here, even if his dramatic chops are still merely so-so. As the token female of the piece, Alba serves her purpose as eye candy. She even rocks a bikini in a few scenes, and is given the chance to fight. As ever, though, Alba is not an especially good actress, and the other supporting performances are just as unimpressive - nobody is able to give much spark to the hackneyed, lifeless dialogue. However, despite his appallingly limited screen-time, Jones manages to make a positive impression as Bishopís final mark. Decked out like a hippy in colourful clothes and sunglasses, heís hammy enough to make his scenes enjoyable, but donít expect anything in the way of gravitas, as this is strictly a paycheque effort for the veteran actor. Oh, and you are going to be incredibly disappointed if youíre expecting Yeoh to show off her impressive fight moves here - she is utterly wasted in a non-physical role. Who the hell casts Yeoh just for her acting?

†††† It has a few entertaining action beats here and there, but overall Mechanic: Resurrection is cheaper, less stylish, and less involving than its predecessor. The 2011 Mechanic was endowed with edge and grit, but here Bishop is turned into an invincible superhero, able to accomplish impossible physical feats without breaking a sweat. Statham deserves better than this. The Mechanic underperformed at the worldwide box office back in 2011, but earned enough in the home video market to spawn this sequel. Mechanic: Resurrection wound up grossing over $100 million worldwide with a bulk of the money coming from China, and thatís before home media sales, so we can most likely expect to see a third movie in a few years.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Roadshow brings this action sequel to Blu-ray in full 1080p high definition, framed at the movieís original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. According to IMDb, Mechanic: Resurrection was lensed digitally using Red Epic and Red Scarlet camera systems, and this AVC-encoded Blu-ray presentation was presumably sourced directly from the digital intermediate. As to be expected from a new release movie, it looks strong in high definition, with nice textures and detailing, as well as strong colour. Statham fans should be pleased if they add this one to their collection.

†††† First and foremost, as noted in my review of the movie, there is a fair bit of dodgy CGI throughout, and the green-screen work is phoney as hell. And as a result of such cheap special effects, the transfer looks undeniably soft and unrefined at times, but this isnít a fault of the encode since these shortcomings were apparent in the cinema and trace back to the source. This aside, though, the presentation impresses in other areas. Especially in close-ups, faces are richly detailed, bringing out every wrinkle on Stathamís grizzled mug, and ably handling his trademark facial hair. Sharpness is above-average as well, and I did not detect any encoding anomalies like aliasing, banding or ringing. There is some light noise at times, but most viewers probably wonít even detect it.

†††† Luckily, the presentation faithfully retains the colours that I recall seeing at the cinema, with a noticeable push towards yellow, orange and teal. Blacks usually look quite milky, as well, rather than deep and inky. This is certainly not a stylish-looking action movie, as it often looks quite cheap and basic, lacking a pop to catapult it to the upper echelon of the format, but at least the presentation is accurate to the source. It is a shame that this sequel wasnít shot on 35mm film stock like its more expensive-looking predecessor.

†††† Overseas, Lionsgate has released Mechanic: Resurrection in America and the United Kingdom on 4K Blu-ray. I own the U.K. Ultra HD release, and can confirm that it provides a worthwhile upgrade over this standard Blu-ray. If you donít care about maximum picture quality, Roadshowís Blu-ray should tide you over, but itís nevertheless disappointing that there is no local 4K release at this point in time. For the record, I also found the encoding on the standard U.K. Blu-ray to be subtly superior to the local release - in fact, Roadshowís release does look a tad compressed. And especially when compared to the 4K Blu-ray release, our 1080p release is noticeably soft.

†††† Only English subtitles are provided. I detected no issues with the track.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† Mechanic: Resurrection was mixed in Dolby Atmos, and Lionsgateís overseas Blu-ray releases offer Atmos mixes which downgrade to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for those not Atmos-compatible. However, Roadshow only provides a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track here, which seems rather insufficient by comparison. It should still be fine for most, but it all depends on your set-up and how much you care about soundtrack dynamicity. I certainly feel as if we are missing out. But this aside, the audio sounds pretty good here, even great, providing crystal clear sound in every department.

†††† Since this is an action movie, there is mayhem aplenty, as Statham fires a lot of weapons and kicks a lot of butt. Every gunshot, punch and kick has real impact thanks to aggressive subwoofer activity, though dialogue is mixed perhaps a tad too low compared to the other sound effects in the mix. I found myself needing to turn the volume up during dialogue scenes, and down during the action scenes. Other than that, Mark Ishamís score comes through with nice clarity, and thereís a fair bit of ambience filling the surround channels during scenes set on helicopters and boats. I detected no encoding anomalies, dropouts, or issues with audio sync.

†††† Although itís a shame this release is only saddled with a 5.1 track, most viewers likely wouldnít know they were missing out unless they checked the specifications for overseas Blu-ray releases. Draw your own conclusions. There is only one other audio option on the disc: an English descriptive audio track in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† A few short video extras.

Engineering the Sequel: Inside Mechanic Resurrection (HD; 9:54)

†††† A standard EPK-style behind-the-scenes extra, full of cast and crew interviews and on-set footage. Most interesting is insight into the making of the action sequences, as legendary stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong was involved in the process. As ever, itís not long enough to provide any substantial insight, but this is a nice enough featurette nevertheless.

Scoring the Action Film with Mark Isham (HD; 8:59)

†††† Rather atypical for a movie like this, here we have a featurette entirely focused on the original soundtrack by Mark Isham. The segment amounts to an extended interview with Isham, who delves into the thought process behind scoring many different scenes in the film. Itís quite an interesting featurette on the whole.

Statham on Stunts (HD; 1:22)

†††† A brief YouTube-grade piece, Statham talks about doing stunts and Vic Armstrong discusses the fight choreography.

Malaysian Prison (HD; 1:21)

†††† Another brief featurette which takes a look at the Alcatraz-style prison seen in the movie. A few nice titbits are offered up, including the fact that many crew members thought the prison was haunted, but again itís too short to provide any worthwhile insight.

Michelle Yeoh, Secret Ally (HD; 1:13)

†††† The briefest segment of the bunch, the cast and crew talk about having Yeoh on the movie (even though she does f*** all). There isnít much more to it.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† All special features content worldwide appears to be the same. However, given that several overseas editions offer superior 7.1 audio, and 4K Blu-ray releases are available, the local edition is the loser.

Summary

†††† Statham is a great action star and there is some enjoyment to derive from Mechanic: Resurrection, but on the whole it's limp and by-the-numbers.

†††† Roadshow's Blu-ray is merely adequate. The technical presentation is fine, but there aren't many extras. I can't recommend this one - it's strictly for Statham completists.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSamsung UBD-K8500 4K HDR Blu-Ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayLG OLED55C6T. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 2160p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationSamsung Series 7 HT-J7750W
SpeakersSamsung Tall Boy speakers, 7.1 set-up

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