Five Favorite Films with Jason Statham

The Transporter star also talks Corey Yuen, Olivier Megaton and his just-announced film with Sly Stallone and Jet Li.

British actor Jason Statham has made a career of reviving a forgotten genre - that of the ultimate "guy flick" - by blending the ultra-cool masculinity of Steve McQueen, the physicality of 1980s action stars, and a post-modern, knowing slyness that belies the otherwise B-movie nature of many of his vehicles (all of which often make him the most engaging element of his own films). This week Statham returns to one of his best-known characters in Transporter 3: Frank Martin, the black market driver with a "no questions asked" policy and a knack for kicking ass without leaving so much as a wrinkle on his tailored designer suits.

While the first Transporter film (2002) was directed by acclaimed martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, French director Louis Letterier took the helm for its follow-up, Transporter 2 (2005). This week newcomer Olivier Megaton takes the wheel for a bigger, faster Transporter 3, with Yuen returning to choreograph a leaner (and often shirtless) Statham in the film's impressive action sequences.

Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Statham about his favorite films of all time, which surprisingly include a few Paul Newman classics and unsurprisingly include a Bruce Lee film. As our conversation continued, we also discussed the different feel of Transporter 3, Corey Yuen's diminished role in the film's action scenes, and his recently announced film, The Expendables, in which he'll star with action legends Sylvester Stallone (who will also write and direct) and Jet Li.



Cool Hand Luke (1967, 100% Tomatometer)
Cool Hand LukeI saw it years ago, when my mom and dad made me watch it. And I was like, "This guy [Paul Newman] is just the coolest dude ever." He just had such charisma. It just really spoke to me, and it's one of those films I can watch time and time again. Paul Newman! It was like, Oh my God, look at this guy, he's so cool! It was pretty much the first time I saw Paul Newman and I've been hooked on most of his movies ever since.

GodfatherIt's just quality at its best. Fantastic writing, an amazing caliber of acting; just beautiful, everything about it. The details of the clothes, the sets -- just a masterpiece. Again, I can watch any of the trilogy time and time again. [RT: Even Godfather 3??] Well...(laughs) Listen, the first two are so good.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, 90% Tomatometer)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Another favorite movie is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Again, I can watch that movie a hundred times and never get tired. I think the pairing of Redford and Newman is amazing. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are just so good.


The Sting (1973, 91% Tomatometer)
The Sting The Sting. I have a lot of Paul Newman films, don't I? But they're so good!

Enter the Dragon (1973, 97% Tomatometer)
Enter the Dragon

If we want to talk about the movies that have made an impact in what I do in the action realm -- Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. I've watched that countless times. That is a standalone pioneer in action movies, and anyone that was inspired by Bruce Lee...I'm sure everyone that has ever done an action movie has just drooled over how full of talent Bruce Lee was, and how unique he was.

[On the first time he saw Enter the Dragon]: I was a kid; my brother had posters of Bruce Lee on the wall. My brother's you know, punching me and he was a lot bigger than me; I was like, what? I couldn't see the movie, I was tiny. But as soon as I was able to steal the VHS and stick it in, it was like, Gee, this guy is just...so avant-garde, he's years above, so far ahead of his own time. So that made a massive impact in my life.




Next: Jason Statham on Transporter 3, Corey Yuen's diminished involvement, and his plans to team up with Sly Stallone and Jet Li.

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