Culture Jammin’: Jason Statham

The wife was out last night and Death Race was on Cinemax. So that’s what this is about.

Jason Statham is awesome. He perpetually looks like he’s about to kick someone’s ass, even in scenes when he’s tenderly romancing his wife in the kitchen and such.

In fact, it feels like just about every Jason Statham movie has a part when he unexpectedly beats the crap out of someone, like going from zero to Bruce Lee in a split second. The only movies he doesn’t do that in are the ones where there’s no downtime between him kicking asses.

Jason Statham is a master of beating people up with objects that are not normally used to beat people up, like a cafeteria tray or a bicycle or whatever. I know that this is nothing new in action movies, but he really makes an art of it. Anything is a deadly weapon in Jason Statham’s hands. Sometimes it seems like he’d be better off just using his fists, but whatever. If there’s something within Jason Statham’s reach, he’ll find a way to beat you senseless with it.

Jason Statham should play Bond. I don’t understand why they keep trotting out debonair charmers like Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig when Statham’s ripe for the picking. It’s the 21st century, baby. Bond should be doing a lot more kicking. Hollywood’s sitting on the most badass Brit since William the Bastard (who it turns out was French, but whatever) and they trot out Daniel Craig? What, you think Statham can’t wear a tux? C’mon.

The plot of Death Race was very similar to that of Gladiator in that both male lead characters were enslaved and forced into gladiator battles by someone who had murdered their wife.

Unlike Gladiator, though, Death Race had triumphant explosions. And somehow, Jason Statham didn’t win the Academy Award for his role in Death Race. Also, unlike Gladiator, Death Race was jaw-droppingly stupid.

They didn’t even bother explaining the rules of the death races themselves, nor why — and this part was particularly baffling — there were so many experienced death racers at this one prison even though nearly all the competitors in most death races die.

Apparently it’s a remake of a Stallone movie from the 70s, but I haven’t seen the original. I assume that one, like the original Rollerball, had some subtleties that the remake glossed over.

It basically seemed like someone made a movie out of a video game, only no one bothered to read the game manual or figure out what all the buttons on the controller did before they started filming. It even had random “lighted shields” in the middle of the road that the death racers tried to drive over for no clearly defined reason. Maybe for points, or bonus lives, or to unlock new levels or secret characters you can play.

But all that said, it was still awesome. Some movies are just about the spectacle. I’m still trying to find a showing of Avatar in IMAX 3D at a reasonable time that’s not sold out. Hoping tonight’s my night.

8 thoughts on “Culture Jammin’: Jason Statham

  1. Death Race 2000! The original was a bit different from the Statham flick. It was all dystopian future/evil government weirdness, with a cross-country race instead of the whole prison thing.

    Statham is in some pretty amazing/terrible films. If nothing else, I find it hard to change the channel when something like Crank or The Transporter comes on.

  2. Deathrace is the offspring of Running Man and Mario Kart. It’s like someone was playing the game all night and then at 5:30am Running Man came on and a lightbulb went off over his/her head. The things they drove over even enabled their car’s “abilities.” Like the “tombstone” and the guns. I cant believe I remember all this stuff after seeing it one time well over a year ago. Awesome movie, though.

    • Obviously the Crank movies are the most Jason Stathamy of Jason Statham movies. I heard they’re making a third, because bad guys just keep finding reasons for Chev Chelios to have to keep his energy at dangerously awesome levels.

      • Really? Crank as the most Jason Stathamy movie? For sure, it’s up there, but how’d you miss the Transporter series?

        Classic scene – Jason Statham realizes there’s a bomb on the bottom of his car so he drives off a building, flips the car, unhinges the bomb off a crane, gets the car right-side up and drives away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s