Jason Statham is a popular British actor known for his roles in action movies like The Transporter, The Mechanic, and The Expendables.
While Statham has many fans who enjoy his high-octane films, he also has his fair share of critics and people who don’t like his acting or his movies. There are several reasons why some people dislike Jason Statham and his films.
Common Criticisms of Jason Statham
He Plays the Same Character in Every Movie
One of the most common complaints about Jason Statham is that he essentially plays the same character in all of his movies. He is often typecast as the gruff, stoic action hero who is light on dialogue and heavy on fight scenes and stunt work.
While fans argue he’s perfected this persona, critics say seeing Statham play the same type of character over and over again makes his films predictable and one-dimensional.
His Acting Range is Limited
Related to the above point, many critics feel Statham has a very narrow acting range. He relies on his physicality and tough guy persona versus displaying emotional depth or vulnerability on screen.
While he is excellent at playing brooding action heroes, some argue he lacks the acting chops to play more complex or nuanced characters outside of his typical niche.
His Movies Lack Substance or Originality
Many of Statham’s movies follow familiar formulas and plots: Statham playing a man wronged who goes on a vengeful rampage.
Critics argue that beyond the action sequences, the movies lack originality or compelling storytelling. The scripts serve merely as a vehicle for the next fight scene or car chase.
He Makes Misogynistic or Violent Movies
Some take issue with the way women are portrayed in Statham’s films or the level of violence depicted on screen.
Movies like Killer Elite and The Mechanic include graphic fight scenes, torture sequences, and the objectification of women. While fans argue this comes with the action genre, critics say Statham sometimes takes it too far.
Wooden or Monotone
More critical reviews of Statham’s acting ability argue he delivers his lines in a wooden, monotone fashion without displaying much range or emotion. Where fans see stoic cool, critics see a lack of charisma.
Why Statham Connects with Fans
While Statham certainly has critics, he remains hugely popular with action movie fans. There are several reasons why his movies and characters resonate:
Specializes in Action
Fans love Statham precisely because he is an action specialist. He devotes himself fully to the physicality of roles – performing his own stunts and fight scenes. For audiences craving well-choreographed, high-octane action sequences, Statham delivers.
Embodies the Antihero Archetype
Statham excels at playing antiheroes – gritty, rebellious characters operating outside the law but adhering to their own code. Audiences love macho antiheroes, so Statham fits the archetype perfectly. He also brings a much needed humor and humanity to these roles.
An Engaging Screen Presence
While some see a lack of charisma, many fans find Statham’s brooding demeanor and gravelly voice extremely engaging and watchable. He also has good comedic timing when given witty dialogue.
Authenticity and Effort
Fans respect how Statham does his own stunt driving and fight training. He puts real work and sweat into creating authentic, badass action sequences versus relying on special effects.
He’s Typecast…But It Works
Statham’s niche is the taciturn action hero. But he plays this role so well that fans worldwide have come to love it. As the saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For fans, Statham “ain’t broke.”
Examples of Jason Statham’s Most Popular Films
To better understand Jason Statham’s career and cult following, let’s examine a few of his most popular and iconic films.
The Transporter (2002)
This was the movie that put Statham on the map and defined his persona as a driver for hire transporting dubious cargo no questions asked. With slick car chase sequences and hard-hitting fight scenes, it showcased Statham as a rising action star.
|Corey Yuen, Louis Leterrier
|Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
The Mechanic (2011)
A remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film, this movie cemented Statham as a contemporary version of the stoic, hyper-capable action hero. He plays hitman Arthur Bishop with an icy, detached precision.
|Nu Image Films
|Lewis John Carlino, Richard Wenk
The Expendables Franchise
Statham joined Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and other action stars in this throwback to 80s action and machismo. Statham fit right in with his tough guy charisma.
|Nu Image Films, Millennium Films
|Sylvester Stallone, Simon West
|David Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
|Over $800 million for the trilogy
The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Statham joined the successful Fast and the Furious franchise as the villain Deckard Shaw. Fans loved seeing him chase down Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. The movie grossed over $1 billion.
In the end, Jason Statham evokes strong opinions both for and against. While some find him one-note, predictable and unoriginal, he has legions of fans worldwide who love him for his authenticity as an action antihero. They embrace his unapologetic brand of violence, one-liners, and hyper-masculine stoicism.
Statham has carved out a unique niche in action cinema that generates profits and satisfies underserved audiences. Though repetitious at times, he delivers what action junkies crave. As filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie have noticed, when utilized well, Statham brings an inimitable presence and magnetism to the screen.
Love him or hate him, Jason Statham has become one of the most bankable and beloved action stars of the 21st century so far. For the legion of Statham devotees out there, that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jason Statham
Why does Jason Statham do all his own stunts?
Statham believes performing his own stunts brings authenticity and realism to action sequences that audiences can feel. He has a strong athletic and martial arts background that allows him to safely perform stunts and fights after rigorous training.
What was Jason Statham’s breakthrough role?
Statham’s star-making role was in 2002’s The Transporter as the driver-for-hire Frank Martin. It established his persona as a stoic, principled antihero and skilled driver/fighter.
How much does Jason Statham get paid for his movies?
Statham’s current pay rate is $10-20 million per movie depending on the project. His role in The Fate of the Furious netted $13 million.
What martial art does Jason Statham practice?
Statham is an expert in kickboxing. He competed on Britain’s national team prior to acting. Statham also has black belts in karate and kung fu which he utilizes in fight scenes.
Why does Jason Statham refuse to use stunt doubles?
Statham believes doing his stunts personally allows him to give an authentic performance. He also wishes to honor the action movie tradition established by stars like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee who always performed their own stunt work.
Does Jason Statham perform his own driving stunts?
Yes. Statham insists on doing all his own stunt driving in films like The Transporter that feature car chases. He previously worked as a street salesman and driver which gave him driving experience.
What is Jason Statham’s most successful movie?
In terms of box office gross, Statham’s biggest film is 2015’s Furious 7 which grossed $1.5 billion worldwide. For his own starring vehicles, The Mechanic and The Expendables both topped $200 million.
Why does Jason Statham make so many action movies?
Statham gravitated to action films because they aligned with his own athleticism and skills. He enjoys performing physical roles and brings authenticity through doing his own stunts. Action movies have proven very lucrative for him as a niche.
What was Jason Statham’s role in The Expendables movies?
Statham played Lee Christmas, a stoic, highly skilled knife fighter and right-hand man to Sylvester Stallone’s character Barney Ross. He appeared in all three Expendables films.
How did Jason Statham get his start as an actor?
Statham was discovered by director Guy Ritchie who cast him in crime films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. This introduced Statham to the film industry. He gained more widespread fame with 2002’s The Transporter.