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 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.



Stephen Fargo

Horrible taste in movies. He's also in horrible movies.

Nov 24 - 04:51 PM


Brian Hurley

Well,Viper... Jus seeing your picture I would have said "Naw, he can't be as stupid as he looks". But then you had to go and open your mouth.

Nov 24 - 07:28 PM


Cubit Fox

oh yeah, the godfather (one of the greatest films of all time, and one of the highest accomplishments of art in the 20th century), and Paul Newman (the iconic actor himself who charmed an entire generation)...such terrible terrible taste.

Nov 24 - 07:35 PM

spitting into the wind

ciaran kelly

Horrible taste in movies?
What the Hell is wrong with you?
He picked The Godfathers I & II and some Paul Newman classics!
You Sir have come away from this looking like an absolute idiot.
You should be too ashamed to post on this site again.

Nov 25 - 09:04 AM

Todd G.

Todd Groves

Besides a ridiculous username, you're an idiot. Statham named what are considered classic films. If it's taste in films, I'll take Statham's over whatever yours are any day. Maybe one day when you start shaving on a regular basis you might come to learn what good films look like.

Nov 25 - 07:40 PM

Damien Lives

m x

eat ****

Nov 26 - 10:33 AM

Ryan M.

Ryan Mertins

yea because I'd have to put a gun to your head to make you watch any of those 5 flicks... you suck.

Nov 26 - 05:44 PM

bruce sweeney

bruce Sweeney

"Godfather", horrible, eh? "Butch Cassidy", too; huh? And all those turgid Hitchcock films,I suppose? I'd say keep the day job....

Nov 28 - 11:59 AM


Jason Foreman

yeah you're pretty much the douchebag on the board now. You hate Godfather and Cool Hand Luke? Idiot.

Nov 28 - 11:06 PM


Adam Spaay

What? I've heard of snobs, but putting down Godfather? Come on, dude. If you want to hate on the guy, hate on him, but don't hate on his taste in movies. You're just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Nov 29 - 01:45 AM


rory parker

Each movie is good, and over 90%...
And I like his films, they are stupid, but entertaining...

Nov 30 - 01:09 PM


Gabrielle *no way*

You drink from the toilet don't you? Horrible taste in movies? Oh seriously dude - jealous enough. You probably think you are as hot as Mr Statham but easy to see from that dopey photo of your even more dopey face you are not even Mr Stathams little toe.

Oh, and The Bank Job was a brilliant movie - so you lose.

Dec 1 - 03:24 PM


butterz bunnies

Thats why all the movies he likes say 90 - 100%, dumb arse.

Aug 7 - 02:19 AM

Tyler S.

Tyler Sweet

are you retarded. Well.. I guess he is in some pretty shitty movies but this list is good

Mar 25 - 09:14 PM

~*Admiral Snowstorm*~

Dominique Amsterdam

Not bad. Nothing wrong with being a Newman fan, really. I always liked Statham because he seemed like a reasonably intelligent guy with a knack for action movies. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of action movies in general, but Statham definitely makes them more fun when I'm in the mood for them.

Nov 24 - 04:54 PM


alex newman

what movies do you like? I mean Butch Cassidy, The Sting (which won best picture), The Godfather (considered one of the best films ever made) are all complete classics. If you think that those films are horrible then you are the one who has horrible taste in movies. You can not like those films fine, but to say that they are horrible movies is just ridiculous.

Nov 24 - 05:04 PM


sahil charania


Nov 30 - 10:53 PM


kevin strawn

Awesome list. His movies are always entertaining, except War (and possibly In the Name of the King, never seen it).

Nov 24 - 05:04 PM


patty fox

Yeah, HUGE fan, but War was the absolute worst movie ever. I had such high hopes, too. Too bad. I still love Jason and MOST of his movies!

Nov 29 - 10:17 AM

Some guy you dont know

Bruce Campbell

Let's all agree that fargo_viper dosen't matter and should be ignored.

Nov 24 - 05:09 PM


Numna Stingdoo

Surprising considering the crap Statham is in, though not every thing he has done is grabage (Italian Job and Bank Job are both fairly decent). Corey Yuen having directed the first Transporter also made that movie an enjoyable action flick, even if it wasn't that good.

Nov 24 - 05:10 PM

Jeff S.C.

Jeff Caffey

the godfather, the sting, cool hand luke, butch cassidy, those are all such amazing movies. i suddenly have a new respect for jason statham, though i dont like his movies, he has a very similar taste in movies as i do.

Nov 24 - 05:10 PM


Numna Stingdoo

Oh, you also mention his characters name as Frank Castle, but that is the main character from The Punisher.

Nov 24 - 05:11 PM

steve s.

steve smith

great list......not a bunch of artsy fartsy crap like john lasseter

Nov 24 - 05:15 PM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

What in the world is that supposed to mean? Lasseter picked fantastic films as well. Star Wars and Dumbo are anything but "artsy-farty crap", whatever that's supposed to be.

Nov 25 - 12:43 PM


Greg Guro

yah, well John Lasseter also gave better reasoning and rationale for each of his films. Statham is between Lassater and Seth Rogen for explaining why they like films. How many times can one say "Paul Newman?"

Nov 24 - 05:22 PM


Carlos Monino

Paul Newman, Paul Newman? But seriously Paul Newman rocks!! ....or rocked = ( RIP

Nov 24 - 05:38 PM

steve s.

steve smith

hmmmm lets see....paul newman = coolest cat maybe EVER....lasseter...semi-sissy....that clear things up for you waits?

Nov 24 - 06:00 PM


Greg Guro

Paul newman has a lot in common with Lasseter. . .

Nov 24 - 06:19 PM


Jonn X.

A solid, inoffensive list of acknowledged classics.

Nothing surprising here, but he seems like he'd be a cool guy to hang out and watch movies with.

Nov 24 - 06:28 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Great list 0f 5 (6) films. Bad actor. And The Godfather Part III, minus one Sofia Coppala is really good.

Nov 24 - 06:28 PM


Chris Moore

Not a bad list. Nothing too contradictory since he's a genre actor.

Nov 24 - 06:32 PM


Jock Davidson

I'm not that keen on the recent spate of action films starring Stathan but I'm still a fan of his simply for his work with Guy Richie. Snatch and Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels are his two best movies in my opinion.

Plus I'm not sure there's any such thing as being too big a fan of Paul Newman, the man was amazing.

Nov 24 - 06:34 PM


jeremy burnside

not a bad list

Nov 24 - 06:42 PM


Greg Guro

I really really liked "The Bank Job." that's probably my favorite film of his.

Nov 24 - 06:45 PM

ankur d.

ankur desai

I disagree his best movie is Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barells

Nov 28 - 03:55 PM

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