Jason Statham makes me smile and I don't know why. When I first saw him Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, I dismissed him as another humorless hunk of muscle, the new generation's Dolph Lundgren. His work in Cellular and The Italian Job didn't do much for me, though the movies were harmless enough. I didn't bother with the Transporter series.
But on one lazy Sunday afternoon, I caught Crank on cable. Man, was I wrong about this guy. I thought maybe it was the insane script or the over-the-top direction, but this guy just oozed charisma. I couldn't take my eyes off him. Crank is a fantastic piece of entertainment, a balls-to-the-wall, take-no-prisoners, gleefully offensive action picture and, alas, Jason Statham entered my stratosphere. Was it just a fluke?
Absolutely not. The Bank Job followed and I really admired his work here. Under Roger Donaldson's assured direction, Statham showed that he can act without overacting and still retain his charm. A good movie and a good performance.
In recent releases, Crank 2: High Voltage was just as ridiculous and wonderful as the first one, and among all of those heavyweights, Statham was the best thing about The Expendables.
The Mechanic comes out this weekend. I'm tickled every time I see the preview. What's that all about? Why am I fawning over Jason Statham? Is it because there is no other action star like him these days? I used to love Schwarzenegger, Willis and Stallone in their glory days, but those times are long gone. Statham reminds me them when they used to churn out those hard-R action films in the 80's and 90's.
Ah, nothing beats blood-soaked nostalgia. Looks like I'll be queueing those Transporter movies after all.