Jason Statham has been one of the world’s top action stars to be in film over the past 20 years or so.
He has a cool, masculine charisma, smooth fight choreography and he can also be quite animated at times when he needs to be. Starting out as an Olympic diver before eventually finding himself in gangster movies, Statham as gone a long way to find himself atop of the action star heap.
So if you’re keen to get you Statham fix, below I’ve put together a list of his very best films, packed with action for your adrenaline-filled enjoyment.
Here they are, in no particular order….
Statham’s Action Films including Martial Arts
OK, I split the list. It’s in no ‘particular order’ but I kinda lied, there’s a loose order:
- Films with Martial Arts
- Films without Martial Arts
- An Honorable Mention
So yeah… here are the top martial art movies Jason Statham stars in. Enjoy!
The Transporter Movies
The first Transporter was an absolute classic.
It was a well-balanced action film, Statham played Frank Martin, an interesting character with a military background who transported shady goods for a fee. The precision and rule-based philosophy he had behind his business was kind of cool and smooth. But double cross him and out come the martial arts skills of Jason Statham!
This film showed us how entertaining Statham could be in a fight scene, with the popular bus depot/oil fight, it had it’s stand out moments that give you a visual reminder of why this film was so freakin’ cool.
Then the second Transporter film came out, awesome martial arts (even a little better than the first at times) backed by a super cheesy script and crazy unbelievable action. If you’re willing to ignore some crappy CGI and cringe-worthy action scenes you’ll be treated with some excellent martial arts sequences that more than make up for it.
With the third film, they found a better balance. It’s not as good as the first but it’s not as crazy as the second. The Transporter 3 some kick-ass fight scenes, a good villain and a well-balanced action film overall.
If you want to see Statham in one of his signature roles, don’t ignore these films!
You can grab them on Amazon!
The Expendables films are another trilogy of kick-ass fights but with more emphasis on old-school 80’s action. Explosions, punch-ups, chases, muscle, one liners, cheesy but cool dialogue…
…it’s all there!
The first film did well introduce ‘The Expendables’ a mercenary team that works for the dollar consisting of Stallone, Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture. It was a more serious film that looks into the code of doing the right thing and killing a bunch of people while you’re at it!
Statham has an excellent scene where he schools and abusive boyfriend on the basketball court (pic above) – it’s such a spot on anger release scene which fans love.
The second film is like a revenge flick and is a bit more fun! More one-liners, Van Damme and Scott Adkins play bad guys and Arnold Schwarzenegger steps up from his older cameo role into a slightly larger one as he teams up with Sly and his team. Oh, did I mention Statham vs Adkins? What about Jet Li smashing guys up with Pot and Pans? ’nuff said.
The third film is not quite as good but has a cool cast including Ronda Rousey and a few others, the but the real gems are the first and second films. Check them out on Amazon if you’re keen!
The Mechanic 1 & 2
He’s the assassin who makes his victim’s murders look like an accident! The Mechanic is a cool Jason Statham film that earned a sequel a few years later.
There is some decent action in this film, but Statham’s character is just really cool to watch, seeing his ‘accidental death’ plans come to life is interesting and entertaining, backed up with some nice fights. ‘The Mechanic’ (Statham) brings on an apprentice to teach him his craft – but his new ally is a little more than meets the eye (no, he’s not a transformer – you’ll just have to watch it).
Overall, both films are just fun action flicks but I highly recommend them to fans of Statham. Again, on Amazon!
Safe is another cool film as Statham plays a washed up MMA fighter named Luke Wright, who steps back into the criminal underworld to damage some folks who killed his family. After seeing the same people going after a young Chinese girl Luke cleans up his acting on goes on the action spree.
It’s fun, there’s some decent action and it builds up to finale that has you sitting on the edge of your seat… until an unexpected twist comes that you may be a bit disappointed by, but try to laugh it off. It’s still one of Statham’s better films!
Statham plays Parker in this film, the appropriately named…uh…’Parker’.
Parker is a highly successful thief who backs out on a local crime boss after a job gone wrong. Naturally, these dudes think they can take on Statham (sorry, Parker) and go after him while he teams up with Jennifer Lopez (well, her character at least).
This film is fun and again Statham shows off some moves and reminds us why he’s the man.
This is a film that has some really satisfying moments in it as Statham’s character, Phil, gets pushed around by small-town rednecks which he tends to unload on a few times in the film (quite satisfyingly).
But he pisses off a local drug dealer played by James Franco and naturally the situation escalates and there’s plenty of violence – which Phil doesn’t want as he moved to this small town to escape his past as a DEA agent and settle down.
The small town setting is cool and a bit different for Statham, but well worth a watch!
This is (you guessed it) available on Amazon.
Statham kicks off after his cameo in the previous Fast & Furious film, to play one of the best bad guys the franchise has seen, complete with kick ass martial arts skills – which he uses on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson very early in the film.
Overall these action films can be cheesy but they’re so packed with a diverse range of action, car stunts, and martial arts fight scenes that they’re hard to ignore. With a guy like Statham as one of the villain, he’s the cherry on top!
Oh, but I forgot to mention, the film also stars Tony Jaa and Ronda Rousey. More martial arts to wet your appetite with – not bad for a Hollywood film 🙂
Furious 7 also pays tribute to the late Paul Walker, with a very touching tear-jerker ending that wishes him farewell.
I’m not crying! YOU’RE CRYING!
Sniff, also on Amazon.
Fate of the Furious
Another Fast and Furious film with Statham – only he’s a good guy? Damn.
Much like the last film, only no Paul Walker (or Tony Jaa or Ronday Rousey, sadly), Statham plays a small part, gets into a fight with Dwayne Johnson again and kicks some asses. It’s not bad, but not as good as the previous film. I’d still watch it though!
The ‘non-martial arts’ inclusive films
Just to be complete, I thought I’d include the Statham films which also built his career but have virtually no martial arts in them!
So we’ll start with some obvious ones and move on from there…
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Statham was quite young in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. It was his first film!
He played a guy named Bacon. True Story.
Basically, a card game triggers a bunch of guys ranging from gangsters toand loan sharks to have little run-ins with each other and a series of unexpected, random and highly entertaining events. These events all take place for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns (hence the title, see that?).
It’s a funny film and helped him launch Statham’s career.
The SEQUEL to Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels…
Ok, not really, but I thought it’d be funny to say. Death Race is essentially a race convicted prisoners participate in, only it’s brutal and many people meet their deaths in this so called….race.
OOnly our man Statham is locked up and framed for a crime he didn’t commit. But he intends get out, stop bad guys and do the usual action movie thing but first – he has to win the race (and not die, kind of thing.)
Jason also got into SERIOUS shape for this role. If you’re mirin’, this is the film to watch.
Crank 1 & 2
The Crank movies have a very interesting premise.
This pro assassin named Chelios (Statham, you guessed right) is injected with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. So hee nds up running around doing insane shit to keep his heart pumping all while formulating a plan to kill the man responsible.
Both films are fast-paced, crude, fun, funny and just really entertaining! This is one of Statham’s all-time most popular film franchises, so give it a shot if you’re keen!
The Italian Job
Now we’re going back!
Statham plays Handsome Rob, a guy who is part of a team lead by Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg, or his character and therefore not the rapper/actor) who intends to rob a former ally. This fun heist film was one of Statham’s earliest but still shows off his onscreen charisma and presence.
Again fun, not too dramatic or emotional, The Italian Job is a look at the young Jason before he became one of the top action stars in the world.
Statham plays the lead in this Gangster film called Snatch.
Much like ‘Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels’, Snatch is a funny film with a lot of seemingly random run-ins and situations that are highly entertaining to watch. Statham’s character Turkish has an excellent chemistry with his side kick Tommy as they banter and he gives him the ‘older brother’ routine, educating and taking the piss at any opportunity.
I kinda lied about the martial arts though, there is a nice fight scene at the end with Brad Pitt – but not Statham, so this film made the ‘non-martial arts’ portion of the list.
Honorable Mention – The One
The One is a cool Jet Li film showcasing his martial arts and action.
Statham plays a supporting role and sadly, doesn’t kick or punch as we’re used to. But I thought I’d mention this film as I liked Statham in it, and it’s just a really cool Sci Fi film which has Jet Li’s character fighting off another, murderous version of himself from a parallel universe. Jet Li vs Jet Li – really cool.
Did I miss anything?
I hope you found something here you can use!
As always, if you disagree or think I should add a film – then let me know in the comments below. Otherwise thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!
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