Jason Statham has never met an action role he couldn’t play believably. The hardheaded, gritty English actor has turned in plenty of memorable performances over the years. So many that he has become synonymous with big-budget action franchises. In honor of the “Fast & Furious” star’s 54th birthday, we’re going to take a look back at some of our favorite Statham flicks.
Jason Statham’s most recent role, playing a character named H in Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man,” hearkens back to the beginning of his career—with one big difference. The 2021 performance is indicative of the hardened action star he has become. As a newly hired security guard for an armored truck company, H surprises his colleagues with an assassin-like skillset that sees him singlehandedly fend off would-be robbers at every turn.
However, back in the mid-1990s, Statham got his big break in two of Guy Ritchie’s most iconic films. As Bacon in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and Turkish in “Snatch,” the now-action star delivered two of his most nuanced performances. While the movies sport plenty of action, Jason Statham’s characters in each were far from the borderline invincible badasses that we’ve grown accustomed to him playing these days.
The early 2000s are when he really settled into his niche as a franchise action star. “The Transporter” movies found Jason Statham play the for-hire delivery mercenary, Frank Martin. Whatever needed moving, Frank Martin moved—for the right price.
In “The Transporter,” Frank discovers that his cargo is, in fact, a kidnapped woman. He has no choice but to change the terms of his deal. Naturally, this development is unacceptable to his employers, and the action ensues.
In the movie, Statham’s Chelios makes himself an enemy of the Triads. He soon finds himself the victim of poison that requires him to keep his heart beating as fast as possible to stay alive. With hours to live, he needs to find the antidote. This premise sees Chev do everything from defibrillating himself to engaging in one of the most degrading (and arguably hilarious) public displays of affection ever depicted on screen.
In 2010, Jason Statham took a role in a movie that demanded his presence. The Sylvester Stallone-directed action film “The Expendables” was designed as a vehicle to feature a bunch of iconic action stars doing what they do best—fighting.
As former SAS knife-enthusiast Lee Christmas, Statham helps to lead a group of hardened mercenaries alongside Stallone’s Barney Ross. Over the last decade, Statham has appeared in all three of “The Expendables” movies. And rumor has it that a fourth is on the way.
Jason Statham’s Iconic Career
Whether you’re a fan of his earlier performances in the groundbreaking Guy Ritchie films or his high-speed exploits as Deckard Shaw in the “Fast & Furious” movies, there can be no debating Statham’s merits as an action star. He’s simply an entertaining actor to watch.
With a sequel to the Melissa McCarthy-led “Spy,” which has been announced, and yet another collaboration with Guy Ritchie on the way, we can’t wait to see what he does next.
Happy birthday, Jason. And keep up the good work.