Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A brief appreciation of Jason Statham

There is a certain type of action movie out there that men love to watch. On a couch. With no one around. With a bag of their favorite snack. It calls for minimal emotional investment, not much taxing logic and features explosions and chases. These movies revolve around the following archetypes: (1) the rugged handsome star who can do back flips and fire a bullet to pin a mosquito's wings from 50 feet away, (2) a doting, young, leggy woman (3) a sadistic villain who hates archetype 1 for some reason or other. These are B movies, made for a small budget usually not exceeding $30 million. The acting is serviceable, the stunts are thrilling, the dialogue is not poetry.

A number of stars vie for the lead in this market, but there is room for only The One. It used to Arnold Schwarzenegger before his movies got too ambitious, John Claude Van Damme came next before his movies got too trashy and Steven Seagal ruled the roost briefly before he grew a gut and started hiding it behind a Buddha-like hand clasp.

Into this void walked Jason Statham. (Well, first it was The Rock, but he likes to branch out and hence not of pure pedigree). Here is why Statham is so special.

  • He fulfils all the qualities required of the B movie action archetype
  • He's English. This gives him automatic class and relieves us from having to tolerate funny accents to watch some kick ass action
  • He gives bald guys a good name. OK, he may be better looking than all of us, but it's good to know you can look terrific even post-hair loss
  • He's authentic but isn't full of himself. He does his own stunts - always a plus with couch potatoes who need someone to imprint
  • His best acting comes when he's playing an amiable lug. B action stars are supposed to think with their fists not their brains

Hail to the new king!


Anonymous said...

I love Jason Statham. When I watched Transporter when I was 15, i said to myself, I'll save myself for him.

Unknown said...

He's still single :)

Anonymous said...

yeah and we just need to somehow meet and we can then "mingle"

Anonymous said...

with "we" i mean me and statham.

Anonymous said...

i can't wait for Transporter 3