Jason Statham – Lee Christmas

Jason Statham is one of those actors whose entire filmography is one long ode to action, but he didn’t start out to be an actor. His first love was diving…I’ll let that sink in for a moment…that’s right, diving! He was so good at it that he was a member for Britain’s National Dive Squad for 12 years and even placed 12th in the 1992 World Championships.

He got his first big break in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and his first solo lead in The Transporter. While Statham has improved as an actor over the years, it’s his ability to perform his own stunts and fight scenes that has impressed movie audiences the most.

In The Expendables, Statham plays “Lee Christmas,” a former SAS solider who is adept with bladed weapond and is Barney’s (Stallone) best friend. If the qualifications to be part of The Expendables team are delivering one-liners with a smarmy attitude, kicking bad guys’ butts and being loved by the ladies, then just about every film Statham’s ever made qualifies him to be in this movie (except In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, which has been stricken from my memory).

Since we can’t list every film, here are our top #5 movies that prove why Jason Statham is qualified to be an Expendable.

#5 – Crank

Crank is one of those films you either hate or love; I’ve really never met anyone that took the middle ground with it. Statham is Chev Chelios, a man who has been poisoned by one of his enemies and will die if he doesn’t keep a steady stream of adrenaline pumping to his heart. The things he does to keep his heart pumping are way over-the-top insane – drinking liters of Red Bull, taking a shock from a defibrillator, stabbing himself in the heart with epinephrine and even good ol’ fashion sex in public with Amy Smart (which is sure to make anyone’s heart race!).

#4 – Death Race

Statham plays Jensen Ames, who is sent to prison after being framed for his wife’s murder. This isn’t a normal prison though, because the female warden, Hennessey (Joan Allen), has set up a death match between the inmates involving cars, guns, explosions and…well…death. Her most popular driver, Frankenstein, was fatality injured just before Ames shows up and Ames is blackmailed into filling the role. Statham drives hard, fights hard and whoops some serious ass in this movie.

#3 – Snatch

This was Statham’s second pairing with British director Guy Ritchie and once again it was very successful. He plays a small time boxing promoter named Turkish who’s being hassled by the mobster Brick Top. Statham doesn’t do any fighting in this film (that I can recall) but it was his acting ability that really shines. Thanks to a great script and story, this movie is one of my personal favorites.

#2 – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

This is another one of those all-acting-and no-fighting roles for Statham. He plays Bacon, a lad who joins up with his 3 partners in a high stakes poker game and ends up owing the mob $500 thousand Pounds. This is the movie that gave Statham his start in cinema and it was a home run.  A well-crafted story and all the players in it tell it well.

#1 – The Transporter

This is the action film that put Statham on the map for most American moviegoers. It’s crazy fun, with a ridiculous plot and even more ridiculous action scenes. A fire hose, an axe and a hallway full of bad guys? Not a problem – Frank Martin handles them with ease. Dozens of thugs coming out of the woodwork like ants to a picnic all trying to kill him? Statham dispatches them while half-naked and covered in used motor oil. Want to try and kill him by shooting a rocket into his bedroom? Amateur! You can’t kill Martin and there are 3 Transporter movies to prove it.

Well there you have it: ten very solid reasons why Hollywood bad boy Mickey Rourke and up-and-coming international superstar Jason Statham both belong as members on The Expendables team. Did we leave off your favorite film for either of these guys? Or perhaps one of our choices doesn’t sit well with you. Hop into the comments below and sound off.

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