A one man army.
Lionsgate UK bring us the return of Arthur Bishop, last seen 2011. Now director Dennis Gansel (Before the Fall) gives us the kind of sharp, fast paced action movie that Jason Statham (Snatch, Crank, Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrells, Thransporter) is now famous for.
After faking his own death in the first film, Arthur (Statham) now lives the native life in Rio de Janeiro, but to get the film going somebody knows Santos’s real identity. A courier (Rhatha Phongam, Only God Forgives) approaches Arthur and she explains her employer wishes for Bishop to kill three targets and stage them as accidents.
He spots the mercenaries she has brought along , beats a hasty retreat and makes his way to his bolt hole in Thailand, where Mae (Michelle Yeoh, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) keeps a secluded beach house for him.
Mae finds out that Tran (the courier) is working for Riah Crain (Sam Hazeldine, The Monuments Men) and Bishop knows him all too well as they grew up together and they were sold, but Bishop managed to escape the gangster gang.
She turns out to be Gina (Jessica Alba, Sin City, Fantastic Four) and at night the pair on the shore spot the man hitting her. Mae asks Arthur to put a stop to it, he does and in the process the man dies. Arthur can’t find any clues on the yacht so he sets it on fire.
Bishop finds out that Gina is also connected to Crain and confronts her about it and she tells him that she had to participate as Crain has threatened the children’s shelter in Cambodia that she worked at.
Arthur and Gina get close over the next few days before Crains goons show up and kidnaps them both. She is taken to his yacht and he is taken to Crain, who now uses Gina as leverage to get Bishop to do the assassinations; three of them. But they must all look like accidents.
This is where Stathem does his stuff, it may be predictable but sometimes that’s what you want, switch brain off and watch somebody else working. True action that has to be inventive and to save the woman. Proper Saturday night stuff. Also a great appearance from Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, Men in Black) as one of the targets.
“A high flying Statham”