The sequel sees the efficient killer dragged out of retirement when his girlfriend Gina (Jessica Alba) is kidnapped and her captors force Arthur to carry out three seemingly impossible hits and of course to make them look like accidents in three elaborate set-pieces.

Jason Statham stars as Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic 2: Resurrection

So it seems a bit obvious why Statham might want to return to the role. "It's nice to revisit a familiar character and put him in a unique world, especially Arthur," Statham says. "He is a complicated man with a moral compass. And I like how he orchestrates these hits. Get in and get out without a trace. It's the MacGuyver kind of brain, composed and confident. It's great to play that! And on this occasion Jessica Elba gets to eek out a side of Bishop that we've never seen - this compassionate guy who lets down his soft side in order to do something good for somebody."

He enjoyed the energy Alba brought to the role. "She's the perfect protagonist to drag Arthur Bishop back into his old line of work," he says. "The original script had much more of a damsel in distress kind of vibe for her character. But Jessica was keen to play her as a more rounded character. She has all of this back-story, the fact that she is ex-military with skills. This was all from Jessica, so my hat's tipped to her for all of these things that she wanted to do. And honestly, she's better at the action than I am!"

The film's most striking sequence involves a hit in a glass swimming pool that seems to be hanging from the top of a skyscraper. Statham loved the idea. "It's quite a feat to have a cantilevered swimming pool on the top of a building!" he laughs. "There's not a many of them around in the world. So to try and orchestrate an action set-piece around that was a vital element if we could pull it off. And yeah, it was difficult to bring together. Cantilevered swimming pools exist, but the one in the movie is exaggerated! The sequence is partly shot on a real building and partly on a set. It was quite complicated."

Watch the trailer for The Mechanic: Resurrection: