We all know and love the badass model of perfection that is Jason Statham. The man has seemingly done it all. He’s played football, is a master at the martial arts, and has even represented England in the 1990 Commonwealth Games as a diver! Plus, he is an inspiration to bald men across the planet. If that doesn’t move you, we don’t know what will!
As the enigmatic star celebrates his 48th birthday today, we bring to you a rundown of some of his best performances.
1. ‘Bacon’ in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
As a hustler, Bacon is the perfect package. He’s street-smart, has the gift of gab and can pretty much ‘manage’ anything. Even after being caught with his friends in a gambling debt trap, his badass game is on-point. This was Statham’s first-ever movie role and boy does he shine in it!
2. ‘Frank Martin’ in The Transporter
This was the movie that established Statham as a bona fide action movie star for viewers around the world. His background in the martial arts came in handy with the star taking on the role of an ex-military man-turned transporter on call and making it his own. But this movie also filled a gap for Hollywood in general, which was actively seeking to make an action star out of every other actor. Statham had arrived to bridge that gap, and how!
3. ‘Chev Chelios’ in Crank
You think you’ve seen crazy? Wait till you get a hold of this!
Crank is a full-on bonkers mayhem that rests on the insane premise that a gangster, played by Statham, has his heart replaced by an artificial one. What’s more, the new heart-ish monstrosity needs to be recharged with electricity, or else it will, you guessed it, stop! What ensues is a mad dash across the city of Los Angeles, involving Statham, numerous explosions, gory fight scenes, lots of dead bodies and a whole lot of fun!
4. ‘Jensen Ames/Frankenstein’ in Death Race
Death Race was the remake of the 1975 movie ‘Death Race 2000’ and was set in the then near future of 2012 where recession led to large-scale cutting of jobs. Surprisingly correct, right? Statham played a man wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife and the only way for him to reunite with his family was for him to take up the mantle of the legendary and mysterious driver, Frankenstein. The movie was bombastic in its set pieces but despite the suspension of disbelief required to watch it, Statham was able to stretch his acting range a bit further and was appreciated for the same.
5. ‘Lee Christmas’ in The Expendables
Talk about ‘Bro Code’. This chest-thumping showcase of testosterone fuelled action set-pieces was widely celebrated as an event starring almost every major action star from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Statham was right at home with legends like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Jet Li. He and Stallone enjoyed some of the best lines of the movies together and his knife-wielding assassin character was a sight to behold!
6. ‘Deckard Shaw’ in Furious 7
Statham’s first foray as a completely negative character earned him rave reviews for his portrayal of the tough-as-nails and Terminator-esque ex-military man. His character was out for blood and not even the hulking Hobbs, played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could stop him. He will return next year as Shaw in the next film of the series.
7. ‘Rick Ford’ in Spy
One of the best qualities of Statham as an actor has been his willingness to reinvent himself with the changing times. Nowhere else is it more apparent than in his portrayal of the bumbling and bombastic super-spy Rick Ford. Ford is not able to comprehend how he is looked over for a secret mission in favour of the desk-rat Susan Cooper, played by the charming Melissa McCarthy, and he takes it upon himself to barge in on her mission at several instances, every time to hilarious results. The movie made people sit up and take notice of Statham’s impeccable comic timing and charm and we sincerely hope he continues to do swell work like this in the future.
Title image: Thewrap