27 April 2012 4:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Any one of his movies might be like any other, but there are reasons why Jason Statham films have made a biliion dollars

Safe by name, safe by nature; don't expect too many surprises from Jason Statham's new movie, just the usual irresistibly dubious pleasures: car chases, kidnapped adolescent girls, martial arts dust-ups, tersely written, often ill-delivered dialogue – all of it cut together at breakneck speed to a thunderous soundtrack.

One Jason Statham movie is much like any other, or at least that's the reductive theory. There's some truth to it. He's the master of two franchises – The Transporter and Crank movies – that are scarcely discernible either tonally or kinetically, while Safe partakes of Transporter 1 just as War did of The One (both co-starring his lean Asian doppelganger Jet Li), and The Mechanic did of Death Race. Euro-American action thrillers, quasi-Asian action movies, 1970s action movie remakes – every Statham movie has its antecedent, »

- John Patterson

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