As the man is unashamedly an action star and doesn’t care who knows it (how many other people could get away with being a character called Lee Christmas while sharing the screen with cinema’s hardest action heroes?) it’s nice to see him stepping outside of the expected.
So here, to celebrate the man, we’ve concocted five films in genres very definitely in the realms of the unexpected. Here are five Jason Statham films we want to see as soon as is possible please.
FILM: Chitty Chitty Bang F*(%(ng Bang
TAGLINE: He’ll get fantasmagorical on your arse.
GENRE: Violent Musical Thriller
STATHAM’s ROLE: Ian Fleming’s charming tale of a flying car gets a retooling with the Vulgarian child catcher pushed to the fore. In this new dystopian thriller Statham is state-appointed adolescent abductor Chronell Perrin, whose terrible service record is about to be wiped out as a gang of English infiltrators find a way into the kingdom hoping to rescue an enemy of the state.
Using a flying car they make it to a nearby village when the Queen of Vulgaria (Denise Van Outen) orders Perrin to crush this petty rebellion. With songs and Martin Short as the kindly toy-maker.
FILM: Jump you slags!
TAGLINE: Get down, or he’ll put you down.
GENRE: Motivational high-spirted musical dramedy
STATHAM’s ROLE: Merrin FFench is an ex-offender with time on his hands. Knowing the grimy pathways which lead through, and then away, from prison he is eager to avoid being pulled back under in the bleak London criminal underworld once more, and forever.
After he stops a brutal mugging and saves the life of a beautiful dance instructor he is targeted by a dangerous gang and needs to hide away. A disinterested police force set him up as a teacher in a young offender’s institute where he sees dozens of young men likely to follow his old example down the metaphorical drain. When his new love, the dance instructor, of course, suggests he use his latent jiving talents to inspire his boys he feels his destiny is finally be fulfilled.
Only when his young offender dance troupe (The Chelsea Elbows) find themselves at the National Finals against some of the toughest oiks to ever pirouette does his terrifying gangland inspirational techniques really become useful.
Will The Elbows take the trophy home? By hook or by crook…
FILM: Pride and Extreme Prejudice
TAGLINE: Are the shades of Pemberly to be thus polluted? You bet your arse they are…
GENRE: Kitchen sink regency drama with guns
STATHAM’s ROLE: After eating a bad kebab on the King’s Road one Saturday night Soul Clifted finds himself waking up in a ditch a quarter mile outside of Merriton. He stumbles to Longbourn, home of the Bennett family and is immediately scrubbed down and welcomed into the household as butler and horse-comber.
Amidst learning his manners and attending to the five Bennett daughter love springs up between Lizzy Bennett and Clifted. Only a stubborn mule in the human form of Mr. Darcy threatens their love and Clifted must face his enemy on the beautiful lands of Pemberly in a thumping fistfight.
FILM: Benjamin Disraeli: Liberal Dispatcher
TAGLINE: One nation under ME.
GENRE: Historical drama
STATHAM’s ROLE: As Benjamin Disraeli Statham faces off against William Gladstone (a never better Keith Chegwin) and the two throw insults and punches all around the House of Commons as election fever grips a percentage of the population.
Contesting the 1867 Reform Act Gladstone and Disraeli strip to their undergarments and do battle for the good of the nation. Only when the Balkan problem raises its ugly head does the fight threaten to bring down the Houses. Whatever the outcome it’ll be parliamental.
STATHAM’s ROLE: Mantz Frenter is a misunderstood soul who catches the eyes of local bookshop owner Claire Frailty when he crashes his motorcycle into her shop. Love and bruises blossom and together she helps him overcome his secret fear of public eating and he teaches her a thing or two about love.
With a soundtrack featuring UB40, Nick Drake and Haircut 100 What? is the freshest lovemedy this year. The supporting cast includes Bill Nighy as Cliff Richard and Karen Gillan as Queen Elizabeth I.