Ranking Jason Statham’s 9 Non-Action Films: From Worst to Best

Ranking Jason Statham’s 9 Non-Action Films: From Worst to Best

Jason Statham as Monk from Mean Machine and Jason Statham as Turkish from Snatch
Custom image by Yailin Chacon

Summary

  • Statham’s versatility shines in projects like Snatch, blending criminality with comedy and dark themes.
  • Despite his action-heavy resume, Statham also excels in more grounded roles, like Terry Leather in The Bank Job.
  • Statham’s work in films like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels highlights his ability to bring wit and charm to a variety of characters, not just action heroes.

Although British star Jason Statham has built his reputation as an action specialist, the 56-year-old has also featured in many less action-oriented projects. While his most prominent roles, such as the Transporter franchise, the Mechanic and Crank movies, and latterly major blockbusters like The Expendables and Furious 7 have all made full use of Statham’s impressive physicality, other parts prove that he’s a more diverse performer than it may initially appear. Even if his resume isn’t as drama-heavy as many actors, he still has a more diverse portfolio than some fans might expect.

Even within Jason Statham’s action movies, the star has found a way to incorporate different genres and tones. Projects such as Ghosts of Mars and The Italian Job, for instance, variously blend action with horror and heist conventions. While many Jason Statham movies are deliberately self-serious, he’s also been able to introduce comedy into his action roles – especially in projects like Spy. However, while many of his features use action as a basis to explore other tropes, some Jason Statham movies ignore action altogether – with mixed results.

Movie Year Rotten Tomatoes Rating Role
Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels 1998 75% Bacon
Snatch 2000 74% Turkish
Mean Machine 2001 34% Monk
London 2005 14% Bateman
The Bank Job 2008 80% Terry Leather
Truth In 24 2008 N/A Narrator
13 2010 7% Jasper Bagges
Gnomeo & Juliet 2011 55% Tybalt
Truth In 24 II 2012 N/A Narrator

9. 13 (2010)

A misfiring remake

13 (2010) - Poster - 50 Cent , Jason Statham , Winstone & Sam Riley

Despite being based on a critically successful original film, 13 is widely regarded as a total failure. Starring an ensemble cast, the dramatic thriller focused on a deadly game of Russian Roulette gone wrong, where different parties are trying to rig the game against one another. However, this potentially thrilling premise isn’t enough to save 13 from ignominy.

Although the film does showcase a comparatively rare Jason Statham villain performance, this is about 13‘s only point of interest. The movie is let down by a flimsy script and badly drawn characters, limiting any sense of jeopardy. Considering the reputation of the original movie, 13 Tzameti, this 2010 project is a particularly low ebb in Statham’s career.

8. London (2005)

A misguided depiction of male bonding

London (2005) - Poster - Chris Evans, Jason Statham & Jessca Biel

Advertised as a romantic comedy, London sees Statham play completely against type as an unscrupulous drug dealer who offers Chris Evans romantic advice while the pair spend a party locked in a bathroom. Given Statham’s preference for no-nonsense crime fighters, this is a bold role for the star. However, despite offering a point of difference in his career, the rest of the movie fails to deliver.

(London) quickly becomes tiresome as Statham and Evans are joined by a succession of unlikeable characters

The film’s central conceit of being set largely within a single cramped room has the potential to be interesting. However, it quickly becomes tiresome as Statham and Evans are joined by a succession of unlikeable characters. London made just over $20,000 at the box office, highlighting its lack of resonance with audiences.

chris evans jessica biel london (2005)

Jason Statham has appeared in a few movie franchises over the course of his career, and here’s every one of them ranked from worst to best.

7. Truth In 24 II (2012)

A rehash of an earlier documentary

Truth in 24 II (2012) - Poster

Much like its predecessor, Truth in 24Truth in 24 II is an in-depth look at one of the most grueling competitive sporting events – the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Told from the perspective of the Audi team, it is in many ways a rehash of the previous movie, following the team’s trials and tribulations in the lead up to and during the race. While engrossing for motorsport fans, this repetition limits its impact.

While Truth in 24 II (and the previous film in the series) are ably made, it’s difficult to argue that either movie constitutes a prime example of Statham expanding beyond action roles, since he doesn’t actually appear on screen in either project. For both Truth in 24 films, Statham serves as the narrator, giving the action a gravelly heft. While he certainly enhances the drama, neither Truth in 24 nor Truth in 24 II are traditional examples of non-action Jason Statham roles.

Truth in 24 II poster

6. Truth In 24 (2008)

An intriguing look behind the scenes for motorsport fans

Truth in 24 (2008) - Poster

While its appeal may be limited to those with a specific interest in the subject, Truth in 24 is nonetheless an illuminating look at Le Mans from the perspective of one of its most successful competitors. Centering on the Audi team as they bid to win their fifth successive championship, the movie explores the complex relationships between the drivers, mechanics, technical support and everyone in between. The result is a comprehensive and engrossing documentary.

As is the case with Truth in 24 II, Statham’s involvement is limited to narration. While this means that the movie technically counts as a non-action Jason Statham role, it is not necessarily the best example of his versatility. Nevertheless, while this limits how highly it can rank in the star’s resume, the movie itself is an engaging look under the hood of Le Mans.

Truth in 24 audi poster

5. Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Statham showcases his voice-acting abilities

gnomeo and juliet

Although the unconventional Shakespeare adaptation Gnomeo & Juliet had a mixed reception among critics, the movie is nonetheless a solid advertisement for Statham’s abilities as a voice actor. As Tybalt, Statham’s role is comparatively minor. Nevertheless, he shines in a stacked cast including James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, and Michael Caine.

Unfortunately, despite Statham’s performance, other aspects of Gnomeo & Juliet fall flat. The movie’s reliance on self-referential humor polarized critics – resulting in its middling 55% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this, however, the film was a hit with audiences, making an impressive $194 million against a $36 million budget.

4. Mean Machine (2001)

An enjoyable remake of a Hollywood classic

Mean Machine (2001) - Poster - Vinnie Jones & Jason Statham

A comedic sports movie set in a British prison, Mean Machine successfully updates many tropes within the genre for a modern audience. Despite getting a frosty reaction from critics, this Vinnie Jones-led take on The Longest Yard story has become a cult classic. This is, in no small part, due to the strength of its supporting cast – including Jason Statham.

As the psychotic goalkeeper, Monk, Statham demonstrated his aptitude for comedy early in his career. While Mean Machine is much more sports-centric than later Statham films, the film is an interesting precursor to the physical comedy seen in movies like Spy and, to a lesser extent, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & ShawMean Machine may not be a masterpiece, but it’s an important marker in Statham’s wider history.

3. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Jason Statham’s impressive debut

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Movie Poster

Despite being Jason Statham’s first movie role, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels remains one of his best. Guy Ritchie’s energetic crime caper expertly weaves together seemingly disparate plot threads – a trademark that would continue in the director’s later projects. As part of a hapless group of friends drawn into the criminal underworld, Statham not only proves pivotal to the action, but also highlights how stereotypical action heroes are not his only strength.

As the rogueish Bacon, Statham is the perfect avatar for Ritchie’s witty script, helping bring the movie’s effervescent dialogue to life.

As the rogueish Bacon, Statham is the perfect avatar for Ritchie’s witty script, helping bring the movie’s effervescent dialogue to life. Alongside the likes of Jason Flemyng and Dexter Fletcher, Statham established himself as a breakout star following the film’s release. While Lock, Stock‘s reputation among critics is more mixed, the movie remains a fan favorite and is an important factor in Statham’s enduring popularity.

Jason Statham and Stephen Graham looking stern in Snatch

2. The Bank Job (2008)

Statham delivers thrills without relying on violence

The Bank Job Movie Poster with Jason Statham

While Statham has featured in many crime thrillers over the years (such as The Italian Job remake), most projects resort to the actor’s action strengths to maintain audience interest. The Bank Job, however, is different. The 2008 thriller, purportedly based on a true story, is much more grounded, spinning a complex conspiratorial web without resorting to the explosive set pieces that have defined Statham’s career.

Because it is comparatively understated, The Bank Job allows Statham’s qualities as an actor to shine. As Terry Leather, he is much more vulnerable than his usual superhuman on-screen personae, making the character a more empathetic presence as a result. The fact that The Bank Job is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of Statham’s career – sitting at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes – underscores its quality.

1. Snatch (2000)

Guy Ritchie’s thriller improves on the Lock, Stock formula

While Lock, Stock established Guy Ritchie’s aptitude for telling multiple simultaneous stories and creating vivid ensemble casts, Snatch is the best example of his style. Featuring Statham alongside Vinnie Jones, Benicio del Toro, Stephen Graham, and Brad PittSnatch is an enjoyable blend of criminality and comedy, with palpable darkness bubbling just below the film’s surface. The result is perhaps Ritchie’s most emotionally nuanced movie to date.

Statham stars as an underground boxing promoter who becomes embroiled in the dangerous criminal underworld that circles his industry. While his story ostensibly revolves around an upcoming fight, he soon becomes involved in everything from assassination to diamond theft. As Turkish, Jason Statham is a wry, swaggering presence at the heart of the script, relying on his natural charm rather than fighting prowess to carry the story forwards.


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