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Jason Statham Filmography

Films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Transporter established him as a reliable action star. He carries out these roles with stoic swagger and relaxed confidence, making even the lamest quips sound cool.

The actor began practicing Wing Chun, karate and kickboxing recreationally when working on market stalls as a youngster. He combines this street smarts with an unwavering work ethic and impressive stunts.

1. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

The 1998 film that put Statham on the map as a high-octane action hero. Its script is ripe for abrasive violence, and the film delivers on every level. The Brit star brawls with gangsters, drives fast, does every drug imaginable and even has public sex with his girlfriend.

The British director Guy Ritchie gave Statham his big break in this black comedy crime thriller. He plays a self-confident card sharp who loses big to a powerful crime boss and then decides to pay back the debt by pulling off a heist. The movie earned Ritchie international acclaim and introduced Statham to audiences worldwide.

2. The Transporter (2002-2008)

Luc Besson’s franchise launched Statham as an action star. The besuited wheelman Frank Martin lives by three rules: no deals can be changed; don’t look in the packages; and never look at the girl (Shu Qi).

When he sees a young woman being threatened, Frank breaks his own rule and rescues her, only to discover that she’s a math prodigy who has the long combination for a safe memory. It’s a harrowing adventure, with Statham’s quiet effectiveness providing the perfect balance to the frenetic action. It’s a film that also helped resurrect the action movie. It set the tone for countless sequels and spinoffs.

3. The Italian Job (2003)

Despite the fact that the action movie is being squeezed by louder, more special effects-driven blockbusters, steely-eyed roughnecks like Statham remain a draw for discerning cinemagoers. The English actor carved out a niche for himself in Guy Ritchie films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, as well as the Transporter franchise and Fast and Furious spinoffs.

Playing a meticulous freelance assassin who gets his kicks by methodically staging slick set pieces, Statham delivers one of his most convincingly rounded and soulful headlining performances in this textured NYC thriller. A prolonged bus garage fight and a cripplingly oiled BMW heist sequence highlight his considerable skill.

4. Crank (2006)

As hitman Chev Chelios in this hyper-violent, exploitative treasure, Statham proves his stunt-capable skills with a bravura turn that would make Tom Cruise say no. From snorting drugs off grubby bathroom floors to al fresco make-up sex, this movie oozes gonzo excess.

Slotted into a remake of Charles Bronson’s original, Statham seems ice-cool as a methodical freelance assassin, slipping between his silent intimidation and sandpaper rasp for this underrated thriller.

The cineb movie that cemented Statham’s status as action movie king, the dapper mercenary nonchalantly sabotaged Vin Diesel’s heroic crew throughout this sequel. Even if the script isn’t quite as taut, this is still a brisk, stylish movie.

5. War (2007)

A slick exercise in guns, crashes and gratuitous violence that plays Statham and Li as characters in a plot of revenge and betrayal. Aside from a few good fight scenes, it’s a one-note production that wastes the talents of two charismatic stars.

Jet Li carries the lion’s share of screen time as the inscrutable Rogue and brings a certain coolness to the role, but even his efforts can’t salvage this tame gangster flick. A few twists are gasp-worthy, but they’re buried under pages of flat exposition that drag the action to a dead halt. Even the fight scenes are stale and routine.

6. The Bank Job (2008)

The steely roughneck star of ’50s-style thrillers like Crank and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels found more mainstream success in this gangster flick. Statham leads a team of, well, patsies (though they don’t know it) in the raid on a safe that holds evidence about someone who supposedly knows too much.

Terry Leather, a London used car dealer with a past as a small-time hood, inveigles his ex-model and co-conspirator Martine Love into taking part in what she thinks is a straight-ahead bank robbery. But Roger Donaldson’s attempt to deepen the story from a socio-political viewpoint makes this one of the less successful films of Statham’s later career.

7. The Expendables (2010)

Despite its ludicrous script and undemanding summer blockbuster status, this is one of the best films of Statham’s career. He moves with a physical grace that probably has something to do with his hinterland as a high diver, and his ease knifing through the water brings a wisp of plausibility to this jittery submarine-based thriller about a prehistoric shark.

It took 16 years for Guy Ritchie and Statham to reunite, but this lean, stylish thriller is worth the wait. It has the kind of crisp dialogue and quick wit that made Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels a fresh, interesting little action caper.

8. The Mechanic (2011)

As a brisk and inventive action film with some spirited violence, The Mechanic does have its moments. Statham moves with uncommon physical grace and his palpable ease knifing through water reflects his hinterland as a high diver.

Unlike his more recent films, this one is almost worth watching for Statham alone. He plays Arthur Bishop, a specialist hit man who makes assassinations look like accidents. When his boss orders him to kill Harry McKenna, a former colleague, Bishop reluctantly obliges, much to the man’s rage. Ben Foster as the younger McKenna adds maniacal energy to this nuts and bolts melodrama.

9. Spy (2015)

After establishing himself as a star of juicy action B-films with the likes of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Statham moved into more character based fare. Among these were this slick soccer-focused redo of The Longest Yard and Cellular, in which he played the lead villain.

Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a brilliant CIA analyst and dogsbody for suave agent Bradley Fine (Law). But when her mission to track down arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Byrne) and her suitcase nuke goes awry, she’s left behind. Statham’s sly performance makes this a cheeky and funny send-up of spy movies. It also proves, again and again, that men underestimate women in ways that are both hilarious and heartening.

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