Friday Feature: Why Jason Statham Is The Greatest Actor In The World by @lexx2099

A rumbling carved-from-granite cockerney chancer and one-time British National Diving Squad member: perfect for low-budget crap like Death Race and innumerable sequels right?


As he cements his place in the international action fraternity in
Sly's upcoming mercenary flick The Expendablesit’s time more people recognised The Stath for what he is – an iron willed made-in-Britain action monster that we bloody love!

To prove it, we’ve come up with the following list to showcase his versatility, believability and all-round ass-kickery as an actor. Duck and cover, and for God’s sake don’t make any bald jokes, as we look at the only dodgy cockney ever to trade up from
Kelly Brook, and check out the best of The Stath!

The Mean Machine

This is a Vinnie Jones vehicle, but unfortunately the shovel-headed former premier leaguer made a tiny miscalculation: Hiring Statham, who as mad Scottish goalkeeper The Monk, makes Jones look about as hard as a particularly ill-nourished 8-year-old girl.

He’s killed 23 men with his bare hands –“Before he learned Karate” – and his skills as a keeper are, to be honest, completely bloody useless, but look f**king amazing. Combine this with an accent that seems to have emerged from Loch Ness via the Thames Estuary and you should have… an absolute shambles, so it’s tribute to our man that he still runs away with the entire movie.


Jamie Foxx shone in the role of Max, the cabbie suitably terrified by Tom Cruise's ice-cold hitman in Michael Mann’s glacially-slick thriller, but those with a sharp eye will have noticed a certain billiard-ball-bonced hardman making a briefcase swap at the start of the movie. Stath auditioned for the cab-driver role, but his loss is our gain.

Can you really picture him being threatened by Thomas Mapather IV?

Of course you can’t! Statham probably knows twenty ways to destroy Cruise using only his neck or buttocks. Instead, Mann appoints him Cruise’s boss, an airport agent so hard he doesn’t even look at our Tom, for fear his glance alone would wither the tiny leading man.


Although he’s usually relegated to the role of hard-nut grunter, Stath’s acting talents shouldn’t be unfairly ignored. In his last Guy Ritchie role, he’s restrained and effective as a con man fighting his own ego, and manages to rise above even the ridiculous hairpeice he’s been saddled with. His realisation is a Long Good Friday-esque triumph of inner-monologue expression, his confusion, anger and terror resonating across the screen.

Unless this year’s Oscars introduce a ‘Most Dangerous Actor Alive’ category, Stath probably won’t be collecting a brass doorstop anytime soon, but when he needs to, he comes up with the thespian goods.

Death Race

OK, so The Transporter probably showcases slicker moves, but Death Race gets the kudos for dispensing with even the thin veneer of subtlety the trilogy clings onto, replacing the slick Beamer and agile hand-to-hand fighting with a huge 9-litre Mustang with a couple of Howitzers strapped to the bonnet.

Being wrongly convicted, targeted for death by the warden and aided only by Lovejoy would be enough to break most men, but not JS, who takes out enemies at 90mph in reverse, beats the crap out of massive neo-Nazis, chucks cases of Napalm at people and finally escapes to Mexico…after explosively breaking out of prison in front of 100 million baying pay-per-view supporters.

A movie as brutally stylish as the man himself.


So, you’re an action hero, stuck with the bloody stupid/absolutely fantastic moniker of Chev Chelios. Let’s face it, with a name like that you’ll need to be tough, but maybe that isn’t enough for the Stath.

Nope, he also has to hold on to white-hot GF
Amy SmartHow does he make this credible? By pulling out sweet lovin’ skills that would make Barry White blush.

Pumped chock full of synthetic adrenalin retardant – hey, it’s a common problem among men in their mid 30s – Chev has to keep his heart a-pumpin’, and what better way to achieve it than a-pumpin’ said missus?

In broad daylight.

In a shopping centre.

Normally you’d be put away for indecent behaviour if you tried this, but not The Stath, who instead gathers a crowd of several hundred onlookers, all cheering him on as he screams “I’m alive” in purest cockney.

The most bonkers scene in a movie that already doesn’t give a flying fast one for the rules of nature, and confirms JS’ status as the kind of man we all want to be.

The Transporter

Quiet but hard-as-nails driver Frank Martin goes straight to the head of the class as Statham’s signature role. The sequels may have coined the rule of diminishing returns but the first movie is solid Statham gold. The fight sequences are already inventive, but Stath brings a genuine athleticism to them, which raises him well above of the 80s pack that inspired him.

Case in point; the bus depot smackdown, Stath, for some reason covered in petrol, wears a pair of bloody bicycle pedals on his feet, and still manages to lay down 20 kinds of pain on the generic Eurotrash villains.

Bond had gadgets, Arnie used guns, but all Stath needs is an argyle sweater.


  1. oh come on, I may admit he's fun in films with not much depth but he's the same in every film. That low growl voice of his,in every role he's in you cannot call him versatile at all.

  2. don't matter. it's like Arnie. He's the same guy in Predator, Terminator, Conan and Commando. Are you saying you don't like Commando Jack? Are you? *Opens box containing duelling pistols*