You won’t find Jason Statham‘s films on many critics’ top ten lists — and you won’t see him nominated for many awards, but he remains in 2018 one of America’s most beloved and consistent action stars.
The British born, ex-Olympian swimmer has headlined three successful franchises himself (“The Transporter,” “Crank,” “The Mechanic”) and been a member of the cast of two others (“The Expendables” and “Fast and Furious”).
A trailer was recently released for what looks to be one of Statham’s most expensive and high-profile releases as a solo movie star — “The Meg,” which is a film about a crew led by Statham as they hunt down a megaladon, a giant ancient ancestor of sharks thought to be extinct.
In reality, research has shown the beasts were .
The trailer for the film looks like exactly what Hollywood needs more of these days — fresh, fun and agendaless adventures rides.
Those types of flicks seem to be Statham’s forte and that is part of what makes him so popular. While other stars race to special effects-heavy superhero material or rebooted franchises, Statham does mostly original films that a young Burt Reynolds or Sylvester Stallone would have picked years ago.
What Statham also deserves credit for as a performer is his ability to stay away from politics. He’s one of the few A-list stars left who would rather chat about the latest stunt he took part in than putting down the president of the United States.
Even popular stars like Dwayne Johnson, who avoided politics for a long time, .
Statham is the type of action star who seemed to die with the ’90s. His films are often patriotic and celebrate machismo; and as a movie star, he avoids putting himself on a soapbox and echoing the same mindless, political gibberish his costars waste their time spouting.
There are other performers who do their best to avoid politics, too, , but none are as consistently entertaining as Statham.
From “The Transporter” to “Crank” to “Wild Card,” Statham knows who he is when he steps in front of a camera. He stretches his dramatic and comedic muscles here and there, but viewers pretty much know exactly what they’re getting when they buy tickets to a Statham movie — and can feel good about doing so since he’s not spending his days insulting the beliefs of his fans.
When you stack Statham up to his competition today, it’s clear: This is Hollywood’s last action hero. Others have aged out of the genre or gotten so .
This summer, Statham is back on the big screen — and battling one of the few things left that could pose a real threat to the tough-guy persona he’s built on a foundation of popular, white knuckle films: a giant shark.
With right-of-center movie lovers more and more desperate to find films devoid of aggressive political agendas and stars more interested in storytelling than in politics, look no further than the last real action hero Hollywood has to offer.