Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rewind - 5 Favorite Films Featuring Jason Statham

Five Favorite Films Featuring...

Jason Statham

This list is in no particular order. These are just some of my favorite films that Jason Statham, the actor and star of the new film The Mechanic, has been in over the years that I enjoyed either solely because of him or it was a generally well made and enjoyable film. It's funny how he got his start playing a talky gangster type and almost over night turned into one of the only legitimate action stars we have had in the past 10 years. His filmography may be all over the map when it comes to quality but there are most definitely some gems amongst all that crap.

1.




The film that solidified Jason Statham as an action star, The Transporter is fast, fun, and completely ridiculous. I never really cared for the sequels but the original still holds up as a well made Hong Kong style action film. Statham has always carried himself as a man of action and that transfers over perfectly to his character here. His initial job picking up the bumbling idiot bank robbers set the stage for what we were in for during the next 90 minutes. Standout moments for me were his raid on the bad guy's place just after almost being blown up, the oil/bike pedal fight scene, and how he is able to get just enough extra air from a dead body while hiding out underwater. After this film all I ever saw was an action star, which this generation really needs. And as a side note what the hell ever happened to Shu Qi? Wasn't she supposed to be the next big thing over here?

The Transporter [Blu-ray]



2.




This was my first introduction to the witty stylings of Jason Statham. His rhythm of speech along with his annunciations had me glued to every word that came out of his mouth. His comic timing wasn't too shabby either and it is a testament to the power of his screen presence that he was able to stand out in this, only his second film, amongst all the heavy hitters he was cast with. While everyone else got to do some roughhousing and was basically let off the leash, gotta love the Pitt here, he had to play it fairly straight for the most part. That's alright though, director Guy Ritchie did good by him and us just by introducing Jason Statham to the world. Bravo!

Snatch [Blu-ray]



3.




Talk about a movie being deep sixed by such a bland title as "The Bank Job", no wonder so few people have seen it. It is a shame though that this neat little heist film was mostly overlooked when it was released. At the time Statham wasn't really a huge draw for crowds, and still isn't mainly due to his willingness to play in some godawful films, so this came and went without any notice. Based off a true story, Statham plays the ring leader of a group of guys that in 1971 pulled off the biggest robbery in British history. The film is notable for a few reasons, first and foremost is that it is a well made and crafted heist movie, second is that it is based off true events that were at the time covered up by the government, and lastly because this was the first film I had seen Jason Statham in a non-action oriented role since the beginning of the decade. It is really easy to forget that he is a very good actor beyond all those kung fu kicks he has been throwing around for the past 10 years and thanks to films like this we get to remember.

The Bank Job [Blu-ray] + Digital Copy



4.




OK, this movie is just plain crazy (not nearly as bonkers as its sequel though). I remember seeing the trailer for it and thinking it looked like a fairly entertaining romp but I had no idea what I was in store for. I truly believe this film succeeds only because of Jason Statham, he has this charismatic way of beating the crap out of people and just plain being an asshole to everyone he encounters that still makes you root for him. If you ever wanted to see Jason Statham running around a city causing chaos wherever he goes while only having an hour to find the guys that poisoned him, then this is the film for you. Plus his conversations with his best buddy and doctor played by a crazy ass Dwight Yoakam are amazing. Oh, and did I mention that he has wild sex with Amy Smart in the middle of a crowded plaza all for the sake of keeping his heart pumping so he doesn't die...?


Crank [Blu-ray]



5.




This was Mr. Statham's debut film and what a debut it was. While he was most certainly not the star and as far as the ensemble cast is concerned his character wasn't even all that important, but every time he uttered a word he commanded whichever scene he was in. I am unsure if his performance here was what won director Guy Ritchie over and inspired him to make Statham the semi-lead of Snatch or if they were just good friends. I suppose it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things because as far as freshman efforts go he couldn't have been any better. Anyone interested in the origins of this mans career that hasn't seen this film, or Snatch, needs to get off their asses and see them immediately.

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels [Blu-ray]

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