Jason Statham has had quite a remarkable rise to stardom. Before he started acting, he was an Olympic diver, among other things. After being discovered by Guy Ritchie, Statham’s movie career began with minor roles in British films. Eventually, he became a somewhat unlikely action star which helped make him the superstar he is today. Though he is most known for his action films, Statham has gradually shown that there is more to his talents. Here are the very best of Jason Statham’s movies.
1. The Meg
Statham puts his aquatic insight to good use in this high-gloss creature feature about a giant shark that escapes from a deep-sea trench. It’s a classic gruff hero role for Statham, but he breaks it up by showcasing some impressive diving techniques as he battles the titular beast.
2. The Fate Of The Furious
After stealing the show as villain Deckard Shaw in Furious 7, Statham was invited back for the next instalment, bringing his signature intensity and a touch of menace to the increasingly sterile franchise. And while it was difficult for many fans to swallow Shaw as part of the family, he’s been a welcome addition.
3. The Mechanic
The elite assassin subgenre is one of our favourites, and this lean thriller (a remake of the 1972 film) in which a hired gun makes his hits look like accidents is a perfect fit for Statham’s talents. Paired up with hothead trainee Ben Foster, Statham radiates the cool this kind of character must exhibit.
It is unimaginable to steal the show from a megastar like Brad Pitt, that too when he is doing an inscrutable accent. Statham does just that in Snatch, Guy Ritchie’s ultra-British crime caper, filled with an array of colourful gangsters and an overall vibe that feels a lot like Lock, Stock, only with a little more wattage.
Parker is the kind of character Statham can do in his sleep, but under the stylish direction of Taylor Hackford, the movie is filled with great supporting characters, a bright and sunny vibe rarely found in crime flicks, and some laughs amid the shootouts. Plus, you get the great visual of Stath in a Stetson, attempting a Southern accent.
6. Wrath Of Man
It took 16 years for Guy Richie and Statham to collaborate again, but their fourth outing together is a crackling, brutal thriller that spares no punches and showcases Ritchie’s talents as a stylist. Playing with time and our perception of Statham, this remake of the 2004 French film Cash Truck was a welcome return to the crime world for both men.
Aside from his baby-rescuing in Fate, Statham doesn’t interact much with kids. But Safe hinges on the bond between his character and young actress Catherine Chan as he attempts to save her from the Triad, Russian Mafia, and dirty NYC cops. It results in one of Statham’s most tender performances between all the beatings.
One of the most ingenious action films of the 2000s puts Statham in the role of Chev Chelios, a British hitman who has been poisoned and must keep his adrenaline at peak levels to stay alive enough to find out who wants to kill him. This sets the stage for all sorts of depravity, from brawls with gangsters, wild driving, doing every drug imaginable, and having public sex with his girlfriend.
9. Transporter 2
Some might argue that Chev Chelios is Statham’s signature part, but for us, it’s Frank Martin, the driver with three rules that he never breaks, at least until the first film. While The Transporter is a fun ride, and you can’t beat the motor oil fight, the sequel is where Statham fully embodies the role.
Our man of action completely pivots in this Melissa McCarthy vehicle, sending up the brusque man of action to great effect in this hilarious film. As CIA agent Rick Ford, Statham bellows and blusters his way through every scene, stealing the movie from the reliably funny McCarthy. It’s a not-so-subtle jab at his usual roles that works perfectly because Statham sells it with a straight face.