Saturday, March 09, 2013

Jason Statham: Taciturn Eye Candy in Fast Moving Actioner Flicks

Jason Statham, a 40-something action hero, embodies the definition of the "strong silent type" in action films such as The Transporter series, The Expendables, and The Mechanic.

He doesn't say much in any of them, and his acting range apparently extends from A to B. Yet this old gal who can't take her eyes off the guy. Or maybe it's her ears: His voice is deadpan, soft, assertive, and sexy.

I've dated a couple of radio announcers, and they could make reading the phone book sexy. I heard somewhere that women respond erotically to voice while men respond to visual images; hence pornography (or erotica if you prefer) being one of the chief money-making online businesses.

Statham was apparently discovered by Madonna's X, director Guy Ritchie. A former Olympic diver, Statham packs a lot of energy and muscle into his 5'10" frame.

These actioner flicks are non-stop car chases, fights with lots of martial arts kicks and jumps, explosions, and dramatic stunts, such as Transporter character Frank Martin riding a bike down a staircase railing.

Plot? We don’t need no stinkin' plot: We got Jason Statham.

There often is a beautiful woman who needs protection and, of course, falls hard for the phlegmatic Frank. Or there may be a woman for sexual needs (The Mechanic) and who seems to be around mostly to add a bit of feminine interest and prove the character is not gay. In any of these generic films, the Statham character cannot be deterred from his ideals and course of action by such trivialities as a relationship with a female

Obviously, this is right in line with the tradition of film noir private eyes who bed an endless series of needy and impermanent women.

Online biographies say Statham does many of his own stunts. Call me a cynic, but I'm thinking it takes a bicycle pro to perfectly align the wheel rim with the staircase rail and keep it there at mega-fast speed.

Who knows? Perhaps some trickery was involved in having the tire fit into some kind of track to accomplish the eye-popping stunt.

Who cares? Realism is not the point. Suspend your credulity and enjoy the ride. Watch Statham move with the animal grace that I have previously associated with Alain Delon (a yummy visual treat back in the 1960s and 1970s).

Statham inevitably plays the kind of guy who isn’t going to be around to fix the toilet – even though he could – but a gal has got to hope he stops by on the day of the zombie apocalypse because there are going to be few people better at leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

Is it unseemly for an old woman to be so aware of the sexual appeal of a younger man. I'm going to fall back on a quotation by Tom Selleck in a recent episode of Blue Bloods: "I know I'm no spring chicken, but I'm pretty sure I'm not dead."