Ode To A Statham

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Note: Irony

1967. Imagine it displayed as a jar full of ‘special pickles’ in a ‘modern’ museum of time. Our duty was to label the year with a curiously ambiguous flavour. Of course, we’d have no choice but to frantically scribble “eventful” over the dusty glass in permanent marker, without hesitation, naturally. But why, what happened in ’67? What culmination of cautiously enjoyable occurrences spurted this article? Well, Pink Floyd produced their debut album, Elvis and Priscilla tied the knot and Stalin’s daughter Svetlana defected to the USA. A lot happened. However: one issue in particular, bigger than all of those items combined, also took place that fateful year.

On Tuesday the 12th of September, one in particular managed to press out a jewel so large and admirable; Britain still wears it in her crown today. That precious, well-chiselled gem was the one and only: Jason Statham. Olympic diver turned model, turned Hollywood actor; it’s a tale as old as time.  It truly is the Cinderella story that only the cue-balled cranium cult icon could fit. Landing his first acting gig with the role of ‘Bacon’ in Guy Ritchie’s ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Statham made his mark in the film world instantly. Much like a rabbit being forcibly pumped full of experimental amounts of helium, for Statham, the only way was up. Since then, our hero has been a key asset to film industry starring in hit after hit with his quick-witted cockney charm and ‘dreamy’ honey-brown eyes.

From what’s been said, it’s clear to see that Jason Statham’s sole definition is purely sheer awesomeness. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. Many online internet tough-guys/idiots judge Statham’s performances to somewhat below par. The very whisper of his name inputted into any movie-buff go-to site fetches spurious amounts of negative feedback about the star. That being said, not all the reviews are bad. One or two flicks managed to skip ‘Category Crapfest’ namely, ‘The Bank Job’, 2008 and ‘Snatch’, 2001. This just proves that even the coldest of hearts can be melted eventually with Statham’s forgiving grin, made possible by his exuberantly manly jaw. The only reason I can think that anyone would fail to understand the gravity of Jason’s work is his acting style. Some of the more ignorant observers view it to be at times ‘wooden’, or amateur. Jason Statham is an acting sensei; he has the art down to a science and that’s not including the thousand strains of martial arts he has under his belt. The hard-man demeanour that he carries from film to film is almost impossible to replicate. The only close second to this incredible gift belongs to the man himself: Arnold Schwarzenegger who also holds a fantastic thespian toolkit.

Clandestine acting methods aside, the roles Statham plays vary from the hilarious to godlike. To pick a best character would be as to favour one child over another. I however don’t have any children and find this a relatively easy decision to make. For J-Dog at his finest look no further than either of the Crank films. Statham portrays all-round good-guy/psychopath Chev Chelios on a ticking clock promising certain-death by the day’s end… in both films. This is unless he can live a life of excess pumping either adrenaline or electricity into his veins to keep himself afloat (depending on which film you decided to indulge yourself in). Needless to say it was an instant. If you haven’t seen it; I’m surprised there are rocks large enough to hide such individuals from crème de la crème art over such a long period of time.

There is always, however, an exception to prove the rule. Statham too, is not exempt from this mantra. He does star in one motion picture that is the physical embodiment of the word ‘torture’. It is harder to get into than a spot on ‘Deal or No Deal’. The travesty is named: ‘In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale’ more suited title would be ‘In the Name of all that is Holy: Why?’ Statham adopts the role of the pathetically named ‘Farmer’ who (believe it or not) securely holds the position of a farmer. Farmer’s agricultural workplace is woefully attacked by a group of creatures called the Krug in possibly the worst camerawork you have witnessed in your entire life. Hilarious consequences follow after the first two minutes when part of you dies inside. The shocking performances by all involved are enough to make you quiver. With a run time just shy of two and quarter hours which you will never get are best spent doing something of a much greater value; eating a deck of cards for instance.

Apart from that snag in the beautiful cashmere jumper that is Jason Statham, the man is solid gold and a credit to the cinematic world. Unfortunately, however, much like a million pounds cash; Jason Statham’s endless talents are just something that the unenlightened majority will never truly “get”. 

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