Jason Statham has had quite an amazing rise to stardom. Before he started acting, he was an Olympic diver and black-market salesman, among other things. After being discovered by Guy Ritchie, Statham’s movie career started with small roles in British films. Eventually, he became a somewhat unlikely action star which helped make him the superstar he is today.
Though he is most known for his action films, Statham has gradually been showing that there is more to his talents. While not all his films are winners, he has managed to create a pretty stellar filmography for himself over the years. Here are the very best of Jason Statham’s films.
For some reason, there are a lot of action movies about a badass guy who must protect a young girl. From The Professional to Logan, to Man on Fire – there’s something about this set-up that works for the genre. In Safe, Statham got his turn at the child-protecting film.
In the film, Statham plays a rundown ex-cop who stumbles across a little girl who is being pursued by various mobs and corrupt cops. What follows is a fairly standard action movie that is executed better than most. Not real surprises, just plenty of chances for Statham to beat guys up, and that enough for us.
9 Fate of the Furious
When Statham joined the Fast and Furious franchise, you knew he was too big a star to let go after one film. So in the eighth entry in the series, we see Statham’s Deckard Shaw joining forces with the good guys. This is a bit hard to swallow considering Shaw killed Han, but everyone seems ready to forgive and forget.
While the craziness of the films was starting to grow old, Statham is a stand-out. He is given one of the best action sequences in the film and his chemistry with Dwayne Johnson was strong enough to warrant their own spin-off.
8 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
If there’s one person Statham has to thank for his film career, it’s Guy Ritchie. Legend has it Ritchie saw Statham working as a black-market salesman on the street and wrote a similar role for him in his first movie.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was Ritchie’s highly energetic debut about the violent intersections of various low-lives in London. The quick humor, fast pace and fun characters made the film a hit and kick-started Ritchie’s career. As for Statham, his natural performance showed he had a talent for the big screen.
7 The Transporter
While Statham started his career with supporting parts in various crime films, this was the one that introduced him to the world as an action star. Statham played a rule-driven courier, specializing in delivering sensitive materials.
Though the role didn’t require a whole lot of acting range, Statham impressed audiences with his action sequences. Doing the majority of his own stunts, Statham showed he was a real badass in fight sequences and car chases. Though a small film, it would spawn two sequels, a reboot and a television series, as well as send Statham’s career into another level.
6 The Italian Job
Statham’s car chase experience from The Transporter would quickly come in handy when he joined this remake of the classic Michael Caine heist film. This retelling follows a motley crew of thieves who attempt to steal back their gold from a former associate.
While the film doesn’t compare to the original, it’s a fun popcorn heist film with a very likable cast. Statham was able to show off his driving skills as well as his charisma as Handsome Rob. Along with Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron, they made this a fun thrill-ride.
5 Furious 7
Just when it seemed like there was nowhere else for the Fast and Furious franchise to go, Statham showed up in sixth film’s post-credit sequence as Deckard Shaw. Furious 7 introduced the character in all his glory as he sought revenge against Dom and his crew.
Despite the silliness of these films, this was another fun action film. Statham helped to energize the story as a Terminator-life villain and was given so suitably awesome action set-pieces. It’s a prime example that this series will only get bigger.
The plot of an action film doesn’t really have to make a whole lot of sense. In the case of this movie, the outrageous plot actually makes the film better. In Crank, Statham plays a hitman who has been injected with a rare poison. As he seeks those responsible, he needs to keep his heart rate elevated or else he’ll die.
It’s like Speed, but instead of a bus, it’s Jason Statham. The insane plot leads to some hilarious sequences as Statham does everything he can to keep his heart going. It’s a funny, over-the-top and thrilling action-comedy that made perfect use of its star.
The only thing more surprising than seeing Melissa McCarthy star in a spy action-comedy was seeing Jason Statham being the funniest person in the film. Spy follows McCarthy’s office drone who is unexpectedly put in the field.
The film is not only hilarious, but it also happens to be a pretty entertaining spy film. But the biggest treat is seeing Statham show off his comedy chops as a dim-witted secret agent who thinks he’s much more of a badass than he actually is. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this side of Statham in the future.
Guy Ritchie’s follow-up to Lock, Stock was another intertwined British crime caper featuring his pal Statham in a central role. But while it might sound like a redo of his previous film, this was a big step up for Ritchie in terms of filmmaking and storytelling.
The story, centered around a priceless diamond, was the perfect display for Ritchie’s dialogue and colorful characters. Though the cast includes some big names like Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro, Statham still manages to stand out as a small-time boxing manager. Another great collaboration between Ritchie and Statham.
1 The Bank Job
While it’s certainly fun to watch Statham kick-butt in films, it’s also nice to see him step outside that comfort zone. As his star was on the rise, Statham took a break from the typical action films to star in this low-key heist film based on a true story.
The movie is a sadly underrated and underseen gem in the genre. Statham proves to be a capable lead of the ensemble and the crime at its center is thrilling enough to keep the audience guessing the whole time. Hopefully, as Statham’s fame continues to rise, more of his fans will seek out his best film.