Viewed – 18 January 2010 DVD
It has to be said, Jason Statham is the finest British export American action movies have ever hired. I first discovered this charismatic, hard-as-nails actor in Guy Ritchie’s excellent Snatch (a movie the director hasn’t come close to since, and I’ve yet to see Sherlock Holmes). Yet thinking back to that character seems a world away from the ass-kicking shit-talking granite made hard man we have come to love through the Transporter movies and beyond.
This action-heavy off-shoot from that franchise has Statham as a gun-for-hire who at the very start of the movie has been piosened and discovers he must keep his adrenaline running to stop himself from dying. So naturally the clock is ticking and he must discover what has happened and find an antidote. The story is thin, granted, but Statham brings it to life with a very energetic, desperate performance that boarders on comedy at times, but never looses the overall point – that this is a full on, fast paced action fest with plenty of chases, fights, blood, violence, naked women and sex. It’s a man’s movie.
The supporting characters are little more than caricatures, with a couple of boo hiss villains, a girlfriend (Amy Smart) who beyond being a great piece of ass, is your typical dumb-blonde stereotype, and a cross-dressing side-kick is (mercifully) under-used. It all gets a bit ludicrous towards the end, but by then you’ll have been deafened by the heavy-metal soundtrack and gasping for breath by the sheer intensity of it all, to not really care.
Verdict: 3 /5