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C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Be a little more selective with your roles, Jason Statham!

Aug. 25, 2011by: Chris Bumbray

The other night, I was watching Jason Statham’s latest movie, BLITZ on Blu-ray. Unlike his other recent films, BLITZ went straight to DVD, and watching the film it wasn’t all that hard to see why. While not a bad film, it was totally mediocre and by-the-numbers. Watching it, I kept asking myself, why would Statham, who’s riding a career-high after THE EXPENDABLES and the fairly successful THE MECHANIC, opt to do such a mediocre, run of the mill B-movie?


Statham’s a busy guy. In September, THE KILLER ELITE hits theaters. The cast, featuring Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, and "Chuck" star Yvonne Strahovski, is excellent, and the early trailers promise a fun, wall-to-wall action flick. It will be his third film out this year (fourth if you count his voice work in GNOMEO & JULIET), and a mere three weeks later, he has yet another action flick coming out; SAFE. That one seems like more if a B-movie with Chris Sarandon being the biggest name in the cast other than Statham.

Now, it could be that SAFE is an awesome action flick and considering that we've yet to even see a trailer, I don`t want to come down too hard on it. But why is it coming out so hot on the heels of THE KILLER ELITE?


I really like Statham, although I’d argue that other than THE EXPENDABLES, none of his recent action films have been really good. His best films are still LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS, SNATCH, and the phenomenal heist flick, THE BANK JOB. The first two TRANSPORTERS were also pretty tight. Action fans need someone like Statham. He’s a totally legit action hero, and one of the few totally believable badasses that could go toe to toe with the action heroes of yore. But, he seems to be going down a B-movie path, with studios like Millennium and Lionsgate using him to prop up B-action flicks, as his movies guarantee a tidy profit (they typically do way better overseas than they do domestically). I totally understand their rationale, but this is unfair to Statham, who deserves an A-action flick to prove his mettle. Where’s his PREDATOR, or RAMBO?


The way he’s being used now, pumping out b-movie after b-movie (with another three, including PARKER, ECHELON, and THE EXPENDABLES 2, planned for next year), audiences will take him for granted and they’ll start dismissing his films. No one wants to see Statham go the DTV route like Van Damme, or Steven Seagal, as he deserves to go the Schwarzenegger or Stallone route instead. But they only way that will happen is if he pulls an Arnold, or Sly, and waits for the right role. After COMMANDO, Arnie never made another B-flick, and all of Sly’s films, good or bad, were ambitious and not phoned in like BLITZ.

For my money, Statham needs to start doing fewer, better films. Hopefully THE KILLER ELITE will deliver the goods, and the fact that it’s playing TIFF is promising. If that one ends up being really good, hopefully a big studio will come along and offer Statham a chance to go A-list. Imagine what someone like Statham could do if given the budget that a kid like Taylor Lautner is getting for ABDUCTION? It seems like a no-brainer to me, and Statham deserves the chance.

Source: JoBlo.com

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+2
11:07AM on 08/26/2011
I agree completely. He deserves better because he can deliver the action goods.

Here's a radical idea - how about he is the new Rambo? If they want to continue the franchise of Rambo, he'd be a good replacement for Stallone.

If not a flat-out replacement, then someone please write him a movie at the level of First Blood or Die Hard. Please!
I agree completely. He deserves better because he can deliver the action goods.

Here's a radical idea - how about he is the new Rambo? If they want to continue the franchise of Rambo, he'd be a good replacement for Stallone.

If not a flat-out replacement, then someone please write him a movie at the level of First Blood or Die Hard. Please!
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+4
3:28AM on 08/26/2011
I agree except that one of the project you mention "Parker" doesn't sound like a B-movie it has a decent director and cast Nolte, Chiklis, Lopez.
I agree except that one of the project you mention "Parker" doesn't sound like a B-movie it has a decent director and cast Nolte, Chiklis, Lopez.
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1:58AM on 08/26/2011
I've got no problem with Statham doing B-movies every year, it's what he's good at, and you know the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and unlike Stallone, Schwarzenegger, The Rock, and Vin Diesel, Statham has mercifully managed to avoid the temptation of starring in lame-brained comedies like Oscar, Junior, Tooth Fairy, etc. Just the thought of him doing a family film makes me cringe, so while I would like to see him in an A-list film, i'm perfectly content with seeing him in B-movies.
I've got no problem with Statham doing B-movies every year, it's what he's good at, and you know the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and unlike Stallone, Schwarzenegger, The Rock, and Vin Diesel, Statham has mercifully managed to avoid the temptation of starring in lame-brained comedies like Oscar, Junior, Tooth Fairy, etc. Just the thought of him doing a family film makes me cringe, so while I would like to see him in an A-list film, i'm perfectly content with seeing him in B-movies.
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12:35AM on 08/26/2011
He's comes to me as one who is much better in a supporting role than as the main star. He's just fabulous in Snatch. I want to see him in more roles like that. The Crank and Transport shit is just that shit. But he's making boatloads of money so who are we to judge.
He's comes to me as one who is much better in a supporting role than as the main star. He's just fabulous in Snatch. I want to see him in more roles like that. The Crank and Transport shit is just that shit. But he's making boatloads of money so who are we to judge.
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+0
11:01PM on 08/25/2011
I definitely agree he needs to be a bit more hesitant in selecting his roles. He's a great action star and has no problem carrying a film on his own. I actually love the first transporter, crank, death race, the expendables, and his small role in the italian job. I do think that despite some interesting looking action scenes, killer elite looks kinda wack
I definitely agree he needs to be a bit more hesitant in selecting his roles. He's a great action star and has no problem carrying a film on his own. I actually love the first transporter, crank, death race, the expendables, and his small role in the italian job. I do think that despite some interesting looking action scenes, killer elite looks kinda wack
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-6
9:23PM on 08/25/2011

Blitz was really good

don't know what you saw but i saw a great and refreshing british take on Dirty Harry, and was damn entertained all the way through. I'll take as much Statham as I can get, he's yet to make a bad film (his worst film was The Bank Job, but it wasn't bad, just mediocre with nothing really going for it), so why not keep pumping them out.
don't know what you saw but i saw a great and refreshing british take on Dirty Harry, and was damn entertained all the way through. I'll take as much Statham as I can get, he's yet to make a bad film (his worst film was The Bank Job, but it wasn't bad, just mediocre with nothing really going for it), so why not keep pumping them out.
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8:10PM on 08/25/2011
He's becoming the white Samuel L. Jackson. Both are great actors when given good material, but you can kind of tell with all the projects they take on they are working just for a paycheck. Not that I should hold that against them, but over time I feel it tarnishes their overall reputation.
He's becoming the white Samuel L. Jackson. Both are great actors when given good material, but you can kind of tell with all the projects they take on they are working just for a paycheck. Not that I should hold that against them, but over time I feel it tarnishes their overall reputation.
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7:47PM on 08/25/2011
Statham is the man, but Elite looks like crap and De Zero needs to retire. Seriously Bobby, retire.
Statham is the man, but Elite looks like crap and De Zero needs to retire. Seriously Bobby, retire.
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+4
6:17PM on 08/25/2011
I totally agree. For me Statham falls into the same pile as Robert Rodriguez, they are both hardworking from working class backgrounds with pure talent fueled by an excitement that they get to make movies and get paid for it. But for all the enthusiasm there isn't the desire to make the best possible movie. The feeling is more, if this one doesn't work maybe the next one will.
I totally agree. For me Statham falls into the same pile as Robert Rodriguez, they are both hardworking from working class backgrounds with pure talent fueled by an excitement that they get to make movies and get paid for it. But for all the enthusiasm there isn't the desire to make the best possible movie. The feeling is more, if this one doesn't work maybe the next one will.
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5:20PM on 08/25/2011

What I'm curious about is...

Aside from his first movie & Bank Job, what's up with all of his movie titles being just one word.
Aside from his first movie & Bank Job, what's up with all of his movie titles being just one word.
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5:11PM on 08/25/2011

'Nuff Said

Lock Stock & Snatch are definitely his two best movies. Bank Job is pretty good too.
Lock Stock & Snatch are definitely his two best movies. Bank Job is pretty good too.
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4:14PM on 08/25/2011
I don't think Statham's choices have been that bad. Blitz is actually one of the good ones. Sure the movie could've been better, but the problems were with the script, not with the role. I actually feel Detective Sergeant Brant is a more bad-ass character than Frank Martin and Lee Christmas combined.

Btw, I really liked The Mechanic as well.
I don't think Statham's choices have been that bad. Blitz is actually one of the good ones. Sure the movie could've been better, but the problems were with the script, not with the role. I actually feel Detective Sergeant Brant is a more bad-ass character than Frank Martin and Lee Christmas combined.

Btw, I really liked The Mechanic as well.
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4:13PM on 08/25/2011
I think Statham is very good at what he does, which is more than just kick ass, as he also exudes a presence, which is half or more of why I like him. All the great action stars did that. The argument is less for him to start taking on Oscar-caliber roles, than skip the tacky remakes and actually establish himself as THE name in action instead of ANOTHER name in action. I get he likes b-movies, which is fine since quality-wise genre movies tend to straddle that line, or plunge off the other
I think Statham is very good at what he does, which is more than just kick ass, as he also exudes a presence, which is half or more of why I like him. All the great action stars did that. The argument is less for him to start taking on Oscar-caliber roles, than skip the tacky remakes and actually establish himself as THE name in action instead of ANOTHER name in action. I get he likes b-movies, which is fine since quality-wise genre movies tend to straddle that line, or plunge off the other side. At this point what he needs is to be bigger than the movies he makes. People love Stallone, but how many of his movies are actually good?
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3:17PM on 08/25/2011
Yep, I agree. He even knows some of his movies are pretty waffley - he'd said he'd been in two movies with Jet Li, and both had been bad, but hopefully they'd get a good one in. ...Seems he'd have more control over that, at least by a little.
Yep, I agree. He even knows some of his movies are pretty waffley - he'd said he'd been in two movies with Jet Li, and both had been bad, but hopefully they'd get a good one in. ...Seems he'd have more control over that, at least by a little.
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3:14PM on 08/25/2011
I mean honestly I think this is more on Statham himself then on Hollywood. Nobody's putting a gun to his head and making him do movies like Blitz and Safe. Of course studios are going to offer him the roles because as you mentioned, he's one of the few profitable, legitimate action stars around. Statham just needs to be more selective (if that's what he even wants, there's clearly a decent career financially in getting paid for simple roles that probably don't require much time or effort).
I mean honestly I think this is more on Statham himself then on Hollywood. Nobody's putting a gun to his head and making him do movies like Blitz and Safe. Of course studios are going to offer him the roles because as you mentioned, he's one of the few profitable, legitimate action stars around. Statham just needs to be more selective (if that's what he even wants, there's clearly a decent career financially in getting paid for simple roles that probably don't require much time or effort).
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2:47PM on 08/25/2011

Patton Oswalt on Jason Statham:

"Statham's imdb.com profile, collectively, is a promise to you, the weary filmgoer. It's a promise that says, "I promise that you will not FOR ONE SECOND be bored during one of my movies. You won't learn shit about the human condition, or feel a collective connection with the brotherhood of man. But if you give me $10, I will fuck an explosion while a Slayer song plays"."
"Statham's imdb.com profile, collectively, is a promise to you, the weary filmgoer. It's a promise that says, "I promise that you will not FOR ONE SECOND be bored during one of my movies. You won't learn shit about the human condition, or feel a collective connection with the brotherhood of man. But if you give me $10, I will fuck an explosion while a Slayer song plays"."
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2:18PM on 08/25/2011

Would he even take riskier gigs?

I'm not sure I believe that he'd take the roles you're suggesting with higher class directors and more A-list fare. He appears to enjoy doing these B-action movies. He probably makes around $1MM a film, which may not seem like much by Hollywood standards, but if you're doing 5 or so a year, that's a tidy income. Think about big budget movies coming out nowadays- which one could he have realistically starred in? I could've seen him in either the Stephen Lang or Sam Worthington roles in Avatar.
I'm not sure I believe that he'd take the roles you're suggesting with higher class directors and more A-list fare. He appears to enjoy doing these B-action movies. He probably makes around $1MM a film, which may not seem like much by Hollywood standards, but if you're doing 5 or so a year, that's a tidy income. Think about big budget movies coming out nowadays- which one could he have realistically starred in? I could've seen him in either the Stephen Lang or Sam Worthington roles in Avatar. Maybe Source Code.... Someone find him a decent project first, then we'll talk about going A-list.
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2:02PM on 08/25/2011
jumping the gun a lil don't ya think calling him a DTV action star already, all of his movies are fairly good & he is this generations action hero.
jumping the gun a lil don't ya think calling him a DTV action star already, all of his movies are fairly good & he is this generations action hero.
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+0
1:55PM on 08/25/2011
I wonder if he get's extra to take his shirt off or he insists on doing that.
Bit sexist if he doesn't mind.
I wonder if he get's extra to take his shirt off or he insists on doing that.
Bit sexist if he doesn't mind.
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+7
1:09PM on 08/25/2011
I think he would make a great James Bond villain for Craig
I think he would make a great James Bond villain for Craig
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11:43AM on 08/25/2011
Just thinking about Revolver, from ANTI's post. Statham showed at least to me that he could act with the best of them. That elevator scene, I don't know too many actors who can pull that off. Even as Monk in Mean Machine he was enjoyable. He definitely needs to work with better people because I think he's got the chops.
Just thinking about Revolver, from ANTI's post. Statham showed at least to me that he could act with the best of them. That elevator scene, I don't know too many actors who can pull that off. Even as Monk in Mean Machine he was enjoyable. He definitely needs to work with better people because I think he's got the chops.
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11:15AM on 08/25/2011
While it would be nice to see him deservingly cast in higher quality flicks, I don't think it is wrong of him to be taking on the lesser ones. He seems to always stand out as the best part of those kind of films. So as long as he rises above the mediocrity of them, he is gaining exposure and of course fattening his wallet.
Here's to hoping to see him in better films, but until then, he might as well keep the bad-ass roles rolling.
While it would be nice to see him deservingly cast in higher quality flicks, I don't think it is wrong of him to be taking on the lesser ones. He seems to always stand out as the best part of those kind of films. So as long as he rises above the mediocrity of them, he is gaining exposure and of course fattening his wallet.
Here's to hoping to see him in better films, but until then, he might as well keep the bad-ass roles rolling.
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11:14AM on 08/25/2011
I agree with you Chris. I love Statham and it hurts me that he's doing these movies. I want him in a high class, great action flick. Even non-action flicks, like the Bank Job. That was really good. I know he's smart and will end up doing that based on feedback on how his movies end up doing.
I agree with you Chris. I love Statham and it hurts me that he's doing these movies. I want him in a high class, great action flick. Even non-action flicks, like the Bank Job. That was really good. I know he's smart and will end up doing that based on feedback on how his movies end up doing.
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11:12AM on 08/25/2011
It would serve him well to be making movies with bigger directors. I could easily see him in leading roles for JJ Abrams, Edgar Wright, Michael Mann, Peter Jackson. Even Spielberg. Watch him in Guy Ritchie movies, he can spit dialog and carry [link] scenes with the best of them.
It would serve him well to be making movies with bigger directors. I could easily see him in leading roles for JJ Abrams, Edgar Wright, Michael Mann, Peter Jackson. Even Spielberg. Watch him in Guy Ritchie movies, he can spit dialog and carry [link] scenes with the best of them.
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10:55AM on 08/25/2011

Good article and I agree...to an extent

I just watched Blitz and having read the review knew what to expect going in and it was decent. I agree with jeanericruser down below. He is taking what comes his way to keep the bank rolling in. Some are hit, some are miss. Would I like to see him either as a supporting player in a blockbuster or finally get one to call his own, sure, but at the same time he's staying true to his guns while The Rock is finally coming around and Vin Diesel has yet to branch out. I want entertained and I'd
I just watched Blitz and having read the review knew what to expect going in and it was decent. I agree with jeanericruser down below. He is taking what comes his way to keep the bank rolling in. Some are hit, some are miss. Would I like to see him either as a supporting player in a blockbuster or finally get one to call his own, sure, but at the same time he's staying true to his guns while The Rock is finally coming around and Vin Diesel has yet to branch out. I want entertained and I'd rather pay to see Statham 2 or 3 times a year to feed my need for adrenaline than wait for 2 to 3 years to go by, a movie is hyped and then it winds up a let down. With Statham you know what you are gonna get, but at the same time he still has to fullfil his full potential. He is old school like a Sly or Arnold which is why I would like to see him get a tentpole movie. As much as I love Colin Farrell and looking forward to this re-imagining of Total Recall, I can totally see Statham in that role and tearing it up...it's today's world as please me now and I'll forget you in a second is why it's being flushed down the toilet. I guess I'm just too old school. Give me Statham, give me Soundgarden, give me a beat up Jeep Wrangler and I'm a happy man.

Members of joblo...have a great day!
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+14
10:28AM on 08/25/2011

Well....

his "B-movies" are better then the Transformers, Twilights, and G.I. Joes hitting theaters.
his "B-movies" are better then the Transformers, Twilights, and G.I. Joes hitting theaters.
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2:09PM on 08/25/2011
so true, well said
so true, well said
10:08AM on 08/25/2011
Yes, he was very good in The Bank Job. Which proves the point he needs to work with good writers & directors to show what he can do. The only decent scenes in The Expendables were the ones with Statham, and even then he was polishing a turd (not literally...)
Yes, he was very good in The Bank Job. Which proves the point he needs to work with good writers & directors to show what he can do. The only decent scenes in The Expendables were the ones with Statham, and even then he was polishing a turd (not literally...)
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9:08AM on 08/25/2011
I find it hilarious that you talk about the worst action film of the decade being one of Statham's only good movies recently. "The Expendables" was shit from beginning to end (someone explain to me who the hell is on those motorcycles in very opening? You can say it's meant to be our main characters, but you have no proper way of actually knowing that and would be guessing). Also, am I the only one to think that "Transporter 3" is the best in the series?

To be fair to "Blitz", it's a more
I find it hilarious that you talk about the worst action film of the decade being one of Statham's only good movies recently. "The Expendables" was shit from beginning to end (someone explain to me who the hell is on those motorcycles in very opening? You can say it's meant to be our main characters, but you have no proper way of actually knowing that and would be guessing). Also, am I the only one to think that "Transporter 3" is the best in the series?

To be fair to "Blitz", it's a more dramatic than straight-up action, and yes, it's cliched as hell, at least the leads' performances were solid.
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2:10PM on 08/25/2011
troll & the most misleading name ever
troll & the most misleading name ever
7:32PM on 08/25/2011
I am not a troll. "The Expendables" is one of the worst action films of all time, and I defy anyone to prove to me otherwise. Yes, I said prove, because I can objectively prove why "The Expendables" sucked long, hard, fat, hairy donkey balls.
I am not a troll. "The Expendables" is one of the worst action films of all time, and I defy anyone to prove to me otherwise. Yes, I said prove, because I can objectively prove why "The Expendables" sucked long, hard, fat, hairy donkey balls.
8:38PM on 08/25/2011
I agree. I still didn't think it was the "worst" movie of last year, but it definitely was a mediocre action movie in every single way.
I agree. I still didn't think it was the "worst" movie of last year, but it definitely was a mediocre action movie in every single way.
8:51AM on 08/25/2011
He is just doing what some celebrities do and what others wish they could do, hit every acting job that passes his way. He knows right now he is bankable and he has tons of movies under his resume but as long as he does more projects he gets to make more money and keep in the public spotlight. If he doesnt he could end up like plenty of other action stars that just don't get that many acting jobs any more. So for the sake of money and to keep his name out there, statham hits every movie like
He is just doing what some celebrities do and what others wish they could do, hit every acting job that passes his way. He knows right now he is bankable and he has tons of movies under his resume but as long as he does more projects he gets to make more money and keep in the public spotlight. If he doesnt he could end up like plenty of other action stars that just don't get that many acting jobs any more. So for the sake of money and to keep his name out there, statham hits every movie like ron jeremy hits a young babe in a thong cause like ron jeremy he is best to keep his career going as long as he stays fresh in the eyes of the general public even if potentially he could be way past his prime.
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+1
8:50AM on 08/25/2011
I've never been that big a fan of his though I maybe the only one who actually liked Revolver,but I do think he's better in a supporting role rather than the lead.
I've never been that big a fan of his though I maybe the only one who actually liked Revolver,but I do think he's better in a supporting role rather than the lead.
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11:36AM on 08/25/2011
The UK cut though is better than the US version. It had closure. That said, you're right Statham showed at least to me that he could act with the best of them. That elevator scene, I don't know too many people who can pull that off.
The UK cut though is better than the US version. It had closure. That said, you're right Statham showed at least to me that he could act with the best of them. That elevator scene, I don't know too many people who can pull that off.
+10
8:17AM on 08/25/2011
I don't mind watching Statham in action movies. I think he's always trying to do different kind of roles although those movies might not turn out good (i.e. In the Name of the King by Uwe Boll and Blitz that go straight to DVD). Once in awhile, Statham hits the right spot with something like The Bank Job.
I don't mind watching Statham in action movies. I think he's always trying to do different kind of roles although those movies might not turn out good (i.e. In the Name of the King by Uwe Boll and Blitz that go straight to DVD). Once in awhile, Statham hits the right spot with something like The Bank Job.
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8:12AM on 08/25/2011

Jason Statham

This guy play the same role in every fucking movie he is in...kinda boring to watch.
This guy play the same role in every fucking movie he is in...kinda boring to watch.
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