Need an appealing English actor to sink his teeth into the antihero role of your next action flick? Jason Statham has been your guy for years. Typecast as an antihero, the Derbyshire native is known for kicking butt in countless Guy Ritchie flicks and portraying tough, irredeemable, and machiavellian characters.
He is still a household name today, and we can’t wait to see him throw some more punches alongside virtually all the other modern action heroes in The Expendables 4. Besides acting, Statham has also been a fashion model and black market salesman.
He wears many hats and has starred in a variety of films from different genres — not just action movies. Following his debut role as Bacon in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Statham teamed up again with Ritchie for Snatch (2000) and others over the years.
He played a supporting actor role in the sci-fi film Ghosts of Mars (2001) as well as Jet Li’s The One (2001) before landing the iconic lead role in The Transporter (2002). And let’s not forget, he was also in the summer 2003 blockbuster remake of The Italian Job playing Handsome Rob.
Besides the countless other B-movies throughout the 2000s and his juicy role as Shaw in the latest Fast & Furious installments, Statham had a hilarious turn as a not-so-talented agent in Paul Feig’s 2015 comedy Spy starring Melissa McCarthy.
Statham has also taken more dramatic turns with films like Parker (2013), which is now available on Netflix. Some of the action star’s other films are also available on the popular streaming service.
From a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, that’s based on a Chuck Logan novel, Homefront follows a former DEA agent (Statham) who has gone through a crisis after his actions against a biker gang went horribly wrong, and it cost the life of his boss’s son.
He is recently widowed and is left with a 9-year-old daughter. He decides to quit the turbulent and demanding life of the DEA for Maddy’s sake and retires to a small town. His daughter fights off a boy who is bullying her at school, and this sets in motion a round of events that end in his direct confrontation with the local Meth drug lord. His past with the biker gang also enters the arena, making matters more complex. But he has a mission in his mind to protect his daughter, and he is ready to pay any cost that it demands.
“All the characters in it have a great thing to do,” said Statham to Den of Geek. “Having a great script like that you get the attraction of people like James Franco and Winona Rider and Kate Bosworth, because there are good parts for everybody, rather than there just being a couple of decent roles and the rest no good.” Despite mixed views from viewers and critics, Homefront finished its theatrical run with a total gross of $51.7 million, against its $22 million production budget.
Statham had another movie drop in 2013. This one’s called Parker, an action thriller directed by Taylor Hackford and written by John J. McLaughlin. Starring Statham and icon Jennifer Lopez, the film is adapted from Flashfire, the 19th Parker novel.
Primarily set in Palm Beach, Florida, the film revolves around professional thief Parker (Statham), who is double-crossed by his crew. He sets out for revenge on them, helped by a real estate agent (Lopez) in a quest to steal what his former accomplices intend to rob at a jewelry heist.
“She was as sweet as they could ever be,” said Statham to Collider about working with Lopez. “She’s just a bundle of fun. We had great chemistry. We had a great time doing the job. The relationship between Parker and the character that Jennifer played was good because it was trying to be sexual.
It wasn’t. Never could it get there. There was a lot of tension there. It was nice to play with that because she’s so playful anyway. It was most enjoyable.” Parker marked a departure for Hackford, who hoped to make it his first film noir. The film, produced on a $35 million budget, was conceived following Westlake’s 2008 death when producer Les Alexander secured the rights to it.
Like Homefront, reviews were generally mixed, with many critics feeling it was just another Statham sub-par action film. Others found Statham well-fitted for the role and praised Lopez for her comic relief. Parker grossed $46 million worldwide at the box office and premiered on Netflix in March. A week later was briefly the No.1 film on the streaming service.
The Bank Job (2008)
Business is slow for Terry Leather, a London car dealer, married with children. He’s an artful dodger, so Martine, a former model with a thing for him, brings him her scheme: a bank’s alarm is off for a couple of weeks, so let’s tunnel into the vault. Can Leather’s assembled team of amateurs pull it off?
The Bank Job is a 2008 heist thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson and based on the 1971 Baker Street robbery in central London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered. According to the producers, the film is intended to reveal the truth for the first time, although it includes significant elements of fiction.
“He’s probably one of the most easy-going people you will ever get to meet and the fact he has made a bucketful of brilliant films gives us the ease to come on set and take direction without even questioning him because he’s such a great filmmaker,” said Statham to LondonNet about working with Donaldson.
“He understands different characters, the storytelling aspect, and the look. He’s just one of the greatest directors I have ever had to work with so I feel very lucky on that side of things.” The Bank Job received mostly positive reviews from critics and grossed $66 million worldwide. Therefore, let’s call this one Statham’s best of the best on Netflix at the moment!