Talking Stone Film

Film Reviews & Headlines


So, Jason… ready to review some of your
films? // You fuckin, just say something? // Yeah, your movies – it’s amazing you keep
making them. // Why wouldn’t I stick around for entertainment like that? // Well, most
of your action movies are kind of the same. // Please, I haven’t got time for this. // Sorry
Mr. Statham, but this is why you’re here, we need to review your films. // This is weird.
// No… this is Movie Night! Hello and welcome to Movie Night, I’m your
host, Jonathan Paula. Tonight we finish up our six-week installment of “Action Movie
Month”, albeit a bit later than originally planned. Tonight, we’ll focus on one of Hollywood’s
favorite anti-heroes, Jason Statham, who wasn’t really featured in his own films until the
early 2000’s. His affinity for performing his own stunts has made him a popular mainstay
since, so tonight we’ll review five of pictures, beginning with “Lock, Stock And Two Smoking
Barrels”. This breakout hit that brought director Guy
Ritchie international acclaim made over $28 million at the box office following its August
28, 1998 release in the UK. The low-budget comedy crime thriller follows a group of four
friends who get mixed up in a bizarre series of events involving gangsters, loan sharks,
drug dealers, and antique shotguns. Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, and
Jason Statham make up the core group of protagonists… but dozens of other familiar English actors
pop in and out of the script during its 106-minute run-time. All of them do a great job with
the believable, but totally ridiculous plot, including Statham, in his film debut. The
unconventional story plays out like gritty, British version of Seinfeld… with a series
of crazy coincidences and mix-ups propelling the narrative from scene to scene. This unique
style is both the film’s strongest element, and its weakest: as it sometimes gets a bit
too convoluted for its own good. Also, most of the actual action sequences are quick fights
or shoot-outs, largely included to forward the plot, rather than to provide thrills themselves.
Besides being presented with fast-moving, heavily stylized cinematography, the R-rated
film also has a wicked sense of humor to it, which helps keep things light and playful
despite the bloody action, and the movie’s 125-uses of the “f-word”. When Fletcher questions
whether their enemies are armed, Moran humorously retorts, “Err, bad breath, colorful language,
feather duster… what do you think they’re gonna be armed with? Guns, you tit!” Indeed,
the movie’s best moments are the unexpected surprises, like when our four bumbling criminals
accidentally discover a kidnapped traffic warden in the back of a van they stole. The
occasional use of Brit-pop and rock music makes this a fun and lively picture even during
the most violent moments. Repeated viewings are almost required for a film this complex:
as it’s near impossible to pick up all the nuanced elements, jokes, and set-ups the first
time through. When it’s all over, you’ll be left with a smile on your face – even if everything
that preceded the quirky climax really never had a point. An inventive, quotable, and damn
entertaining adventure, “Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels” is an “Outrageously interesting
British crime movie.” Now let’s see what you had to say in the YouTube comments. “Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels” on the
rate-o-matic… a NINE and an EIGHT. Expertly blending comedy and crime elements into a
very enjoyable experience, you scored it an AWESOME. For me, this was a very fun picture
– but it also seemed a bit juvenile and silly too, so I’ll score it a GREAT. Our second
review tonight is for “The Transporter”. The first in an eventual trilogy that also
spawned a 12-episode TV series, this French action thriller was a surprise hit following
its October 2002 release… more than doubling its $21 million dollar budget. Co-directors
Louis Leterrier and Hong Kong choreography specialist, Corey Yeun do a great job bringing
the fast and flashy 92-minute picture together. Jason Statham is featured in his first starring
role, as a professional courier for criminals, who gets more than he bargained for after
transporting a living hostage, played by the adorably annoying Qi Shu. Although the acting
is less than convincing, the two leads share enough romantic chemistry and charisma that
it’s easy enough to overlook their performance shortcomings. Obeying a strict set of self-imposed
rules, Statham takes pride in his work, explaining, “Transportation is a precise business”. A
thrilling high-speed chase through seaside France kicks off the PG-13 rated film, and
is one of the more memorable cold-opens for the genre. Backed by some funky-sounding music
by Stanley Clarke, the fight sequences are inventive and exciting to watch unfold, especially
since Statham commendably performs all his own stunts. One particularly fantastic scene
sees him taking on eight bad guys at once while covered in motor oil. Occasionally though,
the fights feel like they’re happening in slow-motion… and appear too rehearsed. The
movie constantly skirts the fringes of believability however, not the least of which is miraculously
landing a car on a transport vehicle and hitching a ride without its driver ever noticing. The
remainder of the set-pieces are relatively low-key and contained… but work very well
within the limited narrative. With not much below the surface, bland villains, unrealistic
action, and a simplistic plot – this movie still maintains its appeal with well-executed
martial arts, big explosions, and fast-moving chase sequences. Hardly an award-winning film,
it’s still plenty rewatchable – as are its equally amusing sequels. “The Transporter”,
“Quick fights distract from story.” Here are some of your thoughts on this film from the
YouTube comments. Our scores for “The Transporter”… a SEVEN
and a SEVEN. Plenty of praise of this picture, most of it going to Statham and the fight
choreography… but we were both aware of the film’s limitations and faults, scoring
it a COOL. Now, for tonight’s poll question; What is your favorite Jason Statham film?
Leave your response as a comment below. Our third film review tonight is for “Crank”. Written and directed by Mark Neveldine and
Brian Taylor, this 93-minute action film nearly quadrupled its $12 million dollar budget following
its September 1st release in 2006. Jason Statham stars as a Los Angeles-based hitman and criminal,
who becomes poisoned by a former rival, and must constantly keep his adrenaline flowing
to stay alive. The extremely unique, and inventive concept is practically impossible to believe,
which is fortunate, as the R-rated thriller approaches the situation with tongue planted
firmly in cheek. Performing all of his own fight and car stunts himself, Statham is wonderful
as the anti-hero, somehow keeping the nonsense around him always fun. He balances this humor
with a menacing attitude, taking down bad guys while complaining about his absurd predicament.
Maintaining a mad sprint to keep his blood pumping, his attractive, but often confused
girlfriend, Amy Smart, labels him as an “adrenaline junkie with no soul!”. This line is immediately
before the two engage in sexual intercourse right in the middle of a crowded outdoor marketplace.
It’s silly and entertaining, but somehow, this comedic highlight actually makes sense
within the bizarre narrative. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is featured as the mature voice
of reason, helping Statham deal with his issue, while Jose Pablo Cantillo is a vengeful criminal
hell-bent on seeing Jason die. The events fly by with a wicked-pace, and necessarily
so, making this an easy film to get lost in, especially a delightful scene where Statham
tempts death by standing on a motorcycle while the ironic sounds of Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s
Talkin'” echoes in the background. Edited with a quirky, visceral style, the entire
feature plays out like a music video. Couple that with the over-saturated visuals, and
this feel like a low budget indie film at times, despite its eight-figure budget. Besides
the gimmicky plot itself, there’s also several allusions to video games – which is exactly
what this experience feels like. One notable downside however are the villains, who aren’t
particularly memorable or even interesting – Statham’s primary adversary is really time
itself. The loud punk rock score form Paul Haslinger is a perfect backdrop for the amped
up proceedings. The action in this picture is actually well done, and since it never
takes itself seriously, is often funnier than needs to be, which led to an even crazier,
but less original sequel. Wrapping up with a very non-traditional, but nonetheless satisfying
ending, this is a great, light-hearted adventure I could watch again and again – especially
if you have some friends over to laugh with you. “Crank”, “Ridiculous extravaganza with
flashy style.” Here are some of your thoughts now in the YouTube comments. A SIX and a SEVEN for “Crank”… you enjoyed
the humor and action, but little else, rating this a GOOD. As far as shallow, unrealistic
popcorn films go… this one is pretty special, but it’s also not terribly impressive either,
I thought it was COOL. Next up, is “Parker”. Released the last week of January in 2013,
this American crime thriller from director Taylor Hackford managed to earn a modest profit
of $11 million over its $35 million dollar budget. The story, adapted from the novel
“Flashfire”, the 19th installment in author Donald Westlake’s long-running book series,
follows the title character on a mission of revenge, by hijacking a big heist from his
old crew. The ripped, wise-cracking Englishman Jason Statham stars in this 118-minute action
caper that mostly plays out like a made-for-TV-movie with few surprises. The cool and skilled martial
artist also has a streak of humor to his actions, threatening a witness with a bar stool by
saying, “Plus there’s the posthumous humiliation of having been killed by a chair.” He may
be a criminal, but he maintains ethical standards that’ll have you sympathizing with his situation.
Alongside him as the sexy sidekick is Jennifer Lopez – who filmed her role in between her
judging responsibilities on American Idol. Ever since her debut in 1995’s “Selena”, I’ve
been decently impressed with Lopez’s acting abilities… and her peppy portrayal of a
gorgeous, perpetually horny, fledging real estate agent, turned criminal accomplice is
one of the more memorable aspects of this R-rated film. Michael Chiklis, Clifton Collins
Jr., Wendell Pierce, and Nick Nolte all have supporting roles as well, but I’d be lying
if I said any of them contributed much. A cold open sequence involving a low-level robbery
of a local fair isn’t particularly clever or interesting, and exists only to service
the plot: which is indeed a metaphor for most of this picture’s action sequences… which
seem to take a backseat to the dull story for the middle sixty minutes. The visuals
here are captured cleanly, if conventionally – but including 3D, in-world text to signify
locations is entirely unnecessary, and just feels like a gimmick. Speaking of gimmick’s,
Jason’s poor attempt at a Texan accent for a few key scenes is more distracting than
it is believable, but I suppose that’s also the point. The seemingly immortal Statham
is fun to watch punch and kick his way out of every situation, especially a gruesome
and bloody fight scene that caps off the drama, but there’s never any tension either. A fairly
generic, slow-moving picture with little re-watch value or lasting impact, it still has a few
shinning moments of entertainment that could be worth checking out. “Parker”, “Interesting
characters, despite dull narrative.” As a recent film that didn’t perform very
well… I’m not surprised I’m rating this one alone. I’ll score it a FIVE. A perfectly
average movie that is made watchable by its two leads, but little else – I thought it
was ALRIGHT. A quick reminder now to check out the Movie Night And channel for my trailer
commentaries, and a full list of all 373 reviews I’ve done on the show. Last up tonight is
“Homefront”. This Gary Fleder action thriller just about
doubled its $22 million dollar budget after its November 27, 2013 release. Former DEA
agent Jason Statham moves his family to a sleepy Louisiana town where he’s forced to
deal with his past, as well as a local meth dealer, which has the local school teacher
astutely warning, “You can go from two kids and a fistfight to the emergency room real
fast.” The story is based on Chuck Logan’s novel of the same name, and was adapted into
a screenplay by none other than Sylvester Stallone, who does great job with the realistic
dialogue and characters. After a violent drug-bust prologue opens the film with the ass-kicking
leading man sporting a bizarrely unfortunate mullet-like hairdo, the film settles in, and
begins developing the talented cast. Statham is right at home showcasing his impressive
fighting skills, but also does a commendable job balancing the quieter, dramatic elements
of the script as well, portraying a man attempting to avoid trouble and just live his life. James
Franco is featured as the primary antagonist, a cunning drug cooker who finds himself in-over-his-head,
but willing to make the hard choices. The young Izabela Vidovic does a marvelous job
as the courageous little girl who gets stuck in the middle of all the violence. Kate Bosworth,
Marcus Hester, Winona Ryder, Clancy Brown, and Omar Benson Miller round out the rest
of the cast with much smaller, but critical contributions to the 100-minute story. As
tensions smolder just below the surface, the R-rated adventure stays exciting with plenty
of great fist-fights and takedowns: with Statham quickly, and even amusingly, dispatching his
victims with ease. Especially one scene where he escapes torture to fend off three bad guys
with both of his arms literally tied behind his back. Besides having an affinity for whizpans
and unnecessary camera movement, director Fleder also utilizes a bit too much foreground
clutter in the anamorphic frame. That said however, the overall visual style is positively
beautiful, with every shot framed by the stunning and meticulously well shot landscapes of the
deep south. There are also stylized editing choices, like gradual video L-cuts that give
the film a slight artistic touch. Mark Isham’s melodic score features plenty of low-key acoustic
guitar sounds, and remains appropriately subdued throughout. Dealing with themes of betrayal
and sticking up for yourself, there are some worthwhile lessons to be derived from this
otherwise formulaic movie. Nothing groundbreaking here, but an enjoyable picture I wouldn’t
mind watching again a few years from now, “Homefront” is “Palatable thrills in familiar
package”. Here’s what you had to say in the YouTube comments. Our scores for “Homefront”… two SIXES. You
liked some elements, but felt the lack of action weakened this picture, you scored it
a GOOD. Although nothing about the story or was truly exciting, the people involved and
the execution made it interesting enough for me give this a GOOD. And with that, “Action
Movie Month” comes to a close… but I have a feeling we’ll revisit it again. And who
knows? Maybe we’ll do some other themed-months in the years ahead. Finally tonight, let’s
take a look at some films currently playing in theaters with your tweet critiques. If you see a new movie in theaters, Tweet
your review with the #JPMN hashtag. Next week we’ll be reviewing three recent high-profile
spring releases, “Divergent”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, and “Draft Day” – all
of which are now playing in theaters. Once you’ve seen these films, share your opinions
by voting in the polls below, or by leaving a comment review. If you’d like to watch more
Movie Night reviews, check out the “related videos” on the right, or click SUBSCRIBE to
be notified of all new content. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+
for updates between episodes. Once again, my name is Jonathan Paula, thank you for watching
and listening. Until next time, have a good Movie Night!

71 thoughts on “5 JASON STATHAM Action Movies – Reviewed

  1. Thanks for watching ACTION MOVIE MONTH! — We're returning to "regular" reviews next week 🙂

    If/when we do a "__ Movie Month" again, which themes would you like to see covered? Leave a comment here, and let me know!

  2. Really great intro, one of my favorites. I enjoy the month themed reviews, maybe something like….characters, for example Robin Hood, so many film iterations in a big variety of genres from animation to comedy. Look forward to the next episode!

  3. A very strong 10 for Captain America. A totally different kind of film then the First Avenger. Great blend of Super Heroes and Spy thrillers.

  4. The best Statham film has got to be Snatch, one of my favorite scripts of all time, and a very interesting story.

  5. Captain America The Winter Soldier was amazing. Best movie from marvel in a while. Great storyline and great acting. Filled with comedy as well #JPMN

  6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has almost no memorable moments. I only saw it a week ago and I can barely remember a thing about it. Unsurprisingly the action and effects were done very well, but beyond the visuals there's really not a whole lot to walk away with. 6/10

  7. Captain America 2: Fantastic action and great chemistry between the characters but the plot can be convoluted at times 9/10

  8. Divergent: another disappointing book to film adaptation that might only serve those curious about how others visualize the future of man.

  9. Since you're a redditor I presume you're familiar with internet memes that have a movie as a source. How about a "meme source month," like Austin Powers for "I too like to live dangerously" and "dr evil air quotes," the matrix for "what if I told you," office space for "that would be great," the spongebob squarepants movie for "surprised Patrick," the Big Lebowski for "am I the only one around here?" etc. And let's not forget the nick cage movies. I think it'd be fun.

  10. Captain America:The Winter Soldier: Chris Evens continues to dominate as the patriotic superhero in this superb thriller, packed with great action and an intriguing plot. 9/10 

  11. I wouldn't make a month out of it, but maybe a themed JPMN on (generally bad) pro wrestler movies like No Holds Barred, Suburban Commando, 12 Rounds, Journey 2, Hell Comes to Frogtown, Tooth Fairy, See No Evil, and/or Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe.

  12. 10:44 Really? You feel you have to censor the swear words for some reason, but you're fine showing such extreme violence like this? I'm not "against" either thing, profanity or violence, but this seems like quite the double standard to me.

    I swear I'm not hating or trolling or whatever, censorship just pisses me off. Why bother censoring anything? This is YouTube, not pubic broadcast television or radio. Leave the censorship to them. Censorship is never, ever a good thing, and the less there is of it the better.

  13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier:  Far better then the original.  Great plot, awesome action, and a nice sequel hook.  9/10

  14. I literally just got home from the theater watching the new Captain America (left a review below).  So, I ended up doing a Tweet Critique of it and a review on this video.

    Loved Action Movie Month.  Maybe a Christmas/Holiday themed month around December?

  15. Captain America 2: an awesome action film that is more grounded than most marvel films, however the predictable finale lets it down. 8/10

  16. my 3 fav Statham films would have to be
    the mechanic
    chaos
    parker
    having said that the transport trilogy is also enjoyable and a re-watch

  17. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: An amazing film, with outstanding visuals nonetheless. Plot twist was executed great and a superb popcorn flick 8/10.

  18. Great reviews I like to love all these movie from Statham really enjoyable. He's not the best actor but he doesn't need to be since he knows what we like. =D

  19. divergent: trying to be the next hunger games but due to the bad screenplay it's not succeeding, good action scenes revives the poorly written script. 6/10

  20. Captain America The Winter Soldier: awesome and epic! so much better than the first avenger, it has clever writing, stunning visuals, and a great pulp fiction reference! 9/10!

  21. Captain America 2: Exhilerating, well-choreographed action with practical stunts and stories, even if it can be a little bit predictable.  An espionage vibe and setting definitely helps though. 8/10

  22. Captain America The Winter Soldier: Inteligent and ultra-fun. Marvel showcasing it's talent with one of their best movies to date! 9/10

  23. I thought Lock, Stock was stupid. Bring on the hate!

    Transporter's sequel was definitely better than the original. The stunts were even more ridiculous, but I felt more attached to the characters.

  24. This isn't really a theme for a whole month, but I'd love to see a Harry Potter episode. Long overdo if you ask me 🙂

  25. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: An exciting and action packed thriller proves to be Marvel's best. 9/10

  26. Draft Day: Dramatic, but unrealistic trades and negotiations put me off a bit. Costner very convincing as an NFL GM, 7/10

  27. Hey, Jon. Can I request a review for Frozen? It came out on DVD last month, and I'd really like to see your opinion of the movie.

  28. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A tense superhero movie that manages to stay down to earth. Solid performances all around, particularly from Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie, and the best Marvel movie since The Avengers.

  29. Are you ever going to do need for speed. I know you got a lot of stuff to do and I don't really need it but just wondering

  30. Divergent: Very imitative, but still enjoyable, 6/10

    Captain America 2: In intense thrill ride that is bold and engaging, but has a few silly plot elements, 9/10.

  31. I think you missed an excellent Statham movie in Chaos http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0402910/, I'd love to see this reviewed some time but I think it may just slip through your radar — I find it to be more of Mystery/Detective Movie than his typical Beat-em-up Action films he's grown famous for. The character he portrays in this movie I think lends very well to his talents and emotional range and has a satisfying twist, but not completely unexpected twist at the end.

  32. multiple views required to get all the jokes and complexed plots in lock stock ?? rofl not if your english .. we get it all in one 

  33. i really enjoyed homefront it was a good mix of action and a stry with a menacing undertone .. the films only real downfall was the fact that it was so predictable .. still this can be overlooked ….parker was ruined by lopez the girl cannot and never has been able to act sorry i know you like her but i hate this film due to her crappy half arsed acting

  34. This Guy is the Ultimate Action Movie Ruin. He basically punches and destroys everything. Annoying Movies and always a Superhero like Actor

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