This 8-minute fight is the best action scene in Jason Statham’s entire 25-year film career

Jason Statham has had a long career as an action star, but The Transporter’s big martial arts fight is still undoubtedly his best action sequence.

Jason Statham in Transporter and Hobbs and Shaw

Summary

  • Jason Statham’s best action scene can be found in his 2002 film The Transporter , where his eight-minute martial arts fight stands out as electrifying.
  • The bus fight scene in The Transporter is creative and showcases Statham’s adaptability in different environmental circumstances, with inventive choreography throughout.
  • The Transporter demonstrates Statham’s natural talent for Hong Kong-style action movies, with its John Woo-style gun-fu and clear influences, making it his crowning achievement as an action hero.

Jason Statham has had a long and exhilarating career in action movies, yet his 2002 vehicle The Transporter is still home to his best action scene. Statham first gained attention in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 gangster movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels before achieving further notoriety opposite Jet Li in 2001’s sci-fi action movie The One. Statham fully broke out as an action hero in The Transporter, with the actor reprising his role as the movie’s antihero Frank Martin in its two sequels, Transporter 2 and Transporter 3.

Statham has since become one of the most recognizable faces — and, thanks to his distinctive cockney accent, voices — of modern action movies. In addition to The Transporter films, Jason Statham’s action movie franchises also include CrankThe MegFast & Furious, and The Expendables. While Statham’s stunts, one-liners, and fight scenes throughout his action movie career have been consistently strong, The Transporter‘s eight-minute martial arts fight still stands out as his most electrifying bare-knuckle brawl.

The Transporter’s Bus Fight Is Actually Three Fight Scenes

The Transporter bus station fight pic

When Jason Statham’s Frank Martin arrives to put a stop to the human trafficking operation of Mr. Kwai (Ric Young), he is forced to fight several of his henchmen in a fast-paced martial arts smackdown. The icing on the cake is that The Transporter actually treats its audience to three fight scenes for the price of one. Beginning in the corridor between a collection of shipping containers, Frank escapes onto the roof of a bus returning to a nearby station, with the fight scene resuming from there.

After some quick combat in between buses — including some flashy kicks by Cyril Raffaelli of Kiss of the Dragon and District 13 fame — Frank fights his way through another wave of henchmen inside a bus. This leads right into round three of the action scene, with Frank standing his ground against his enemies in the middle of an oil spill in the bus station. The Transporter manages to pack a huge amount of action into its centerpiece fight scene, which also showcases why it works so well.

The Transporter’s Bus Fight Is Very Creative With Its Scenario & Environment

The Transporter bus station fight image

In each of the three sections of The Transporter‘s big martial arts fight, Frank is single-handedly taking on almost a dozen opponents at once, but the real stand-out feature of the set piece is how much Frank is challenged in other ways. Each phase of the fight requires Frank to adapt his fighting skills to a different set of environmental circumstances. The first two sections in the containers and the bus call on Frank to hold his own in several increasingly confined locations, which allows action director Corey Yuen to also get really creative with the fight choreography of the sequence.

The third part of the fight flips that completely, with Frank and his enemies having a wide open area of the bus station in which to do battle, but struggling simply to stand up in the oil spill. Frank once more adapts to the situation by strapping a pair of bicycle pedals to his feet, enabling him to stand and make full use of his kicking skills in the oil spill. Each level of The Transporter‘s stand-out fight scene is orchestrated with Jackie Chan-levels of inventive choreography, highlighting, even more, why this action sequence is still Statham’s best.

The Transporter Shows Jason Statham Is A Natural For A Hong Kong Action Movie

The Transporter bus station fight image pic

Under the co-direction of Louis Letterier and Corey Yuen, The Transporter is like a Hong Kong action movie, albeit one produced by the French studio EuropaCorp and filmed mainly in English. Jason Statham’s talent for John Woo-style gun-fu is seen early on in the movie’s fight scene in the trafficker’s headquarters, while The Transporter was also the first real showcase of the actor’s skill as a martial artist. Combined with the chase sequences that bookend the film, The Transporter is as distinctly Hong Kong-esque as a Western action movie can get, and it shows just how perfect Statham is for action films with that style.

The Transporter movies are essentially the only time Statham has headlined any action films with a Hong Kong influence — save for his appearances alongside Jet Li in both The One and War. Though Statham has similarly thrived in the CrankFast & Furious, and Expendables films, The Transporter movie franchise has a special place in Statham’s career for its clear Hong Kong influences. Over two decades since its release, the complex settings and fight choreography of The Transporter‘s container and bus station fight stands as a monument to Hong Kong action in an English-language movie, cementing it as Statham’s crowning achievement as an action hero.

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