Tag Archives: Jason Statham

My Thoughts on: The Transporter (2002)

I actually remember the commercials advertising The Transporter (many many moons ago, when I was just a wee middle school student). It stuck out to me because it listed the rules the Transporter goes by: 1) Never Change the Deal; 2) No Names, and 3) Never Open the Package.  I had no idea what the film was really about, but I remember being curious about a character who likes to follow their own set of rules (my own brain works in a similar way). Last night, 17 long years later, I finally got to see the film for myself (thanks Hulu!) and oh my goodness. I have been missing out haven’t I?

The Transporter, as the title implies, follows professional transporter Frank Martin (Jason Statham), who will deliver anything to anywhere, provided the aforementioned rules are followed. Inevitably, with a system like this, the rules are broken and Martin’s life is turned upside down when he becomes mixed up in some major criminal dealings.

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This film is a wild ride to say the very least. From the opening car chase (which is actually very funny, I loved watching how he treated those robbers), to the final chase, I loved every minute of it. There is one thing I noticed though: I’m not sure if this was because of the director, or because this was relatively early in Statham’s career, but this isn’t quite the Jason Statham I’m used to watching, if that makes sense. Oh the fight scenes are what I expected (and the oil fight is insane), but the way he talks and acts…it’s just different. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just different. Also, this is yet another film where Statham still has hair and it is so weird to see him with hair.

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And speaking of the fight scenes, they’re nuts but in a good way! I’ve yet to see a movie that does not involve Statham showing off his awesome fighting skills, and this film is no exception. The previously mentioned oil fight was crazy to watch, though I read afterward that they had to use molasses for that scene and it had to have been a pain and  a half to clean up afterward. (also, one last thought, I was genuinely upset when that house got blown up, that was a really nice house!)

I’m so glad I watched The Transporter at long last, Transporter 2 and 3 have now jumped to the top of my watch list, and I can’t wait to check out even more of Jason Statham’s filmography. Let me know what you think about The Transporter in the comments below and have a great day!

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My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

Believe it or not, Furious 7 is only the second film I’ve seen in the entire Fast & Furious series (Hobbs & Shaw, being a spin-off, technically doesn’t count). I didn’t pay the series any mind until my senior year of college, when I got to see Fast Five at a screening that was free for college students. I was nearly hooked into the series then, but the stress of finishing my degree distracted me enough that I forgot about the series all over again (Paul Walker’s tragic death in 2013 did not help). That’s how things stayed until just recently, when I watched Hobbs & Shaw, remembered that the duo had appeared (more or less) in several Fast & Furious films prior to the spin-off, and decided to find out what I was missing.

And that’s basically how i found myself watching Furious 7 for the first time ever last night. By rights, I should have watched Fast & Furious 6 first, since that’s where we meet Owen Shaw (and without him we never would’ve met Deckard Shaw). But…I was really impatient to get to Jason Statham’s involvement in the series, so I skipped ahead.

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To put it mildly, Furious 7 is an insane film, with stunts that make Fast Five look tame in comparison. I’m still trying to work out how a crew of street racers and thieves got involved in international espionage (that IS what this is, right?), but thankfully the story is so over the top that it just works. The plot largely revolves around Dom seeking revenge on Deckard Shaw for killing Han and nearly killing himself, Mia, Brian, and their young son Jack. Deckard, for his part, wants revenge on the crew for nearly killing his brother Owen. Jason Statham fits into the story perfectly, and I really believe that adding him in raises the story to a whole different level.

I also have to say, that while I love all of the stunts in this film, I do understand why people are saying the franchise is seriously pushing the limits of believability (and I haven’t even seen Fate of the Furious yet). Case in point, that entire sequence where the expensive supercar flies/drops/jumps between skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. It looks really cool but at the exact same time there’s a voice in the back of my head saying “Yea, right, like that could totally ever happen.” Fortunately, I love crazy action scenes, so I don’t let it bother me too much.

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No review would be complete without addressing how the film bids farewell to Paul Walker. I remember when the news of his death came out, and at the time I legitimately thought that was the end of this film. After all, Brian is so important to the story, how could you possibly go on without him? Well, they found a way, and it’s one of the best character send-offs I’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve outright killing the character off. The digital effects are so good, if I hadn’t read some trivia that reveals where and how some of the footage was manipulated, I probably wouldn’t have known which scenes were and which scenes weren’t (except for the beach scene and the ending of course). And that ending…I can’t imagine a more fitting end than having Brian drive off into the sunset (in an all-white car no less).  I freely admit I was crying when the credits finally rolled.

Furious 7 is really fun to watch, and I may or may not be kicking myself for not seeing it in theaters. Let me know what you think about Furious 7 in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

*warning, minor spoilers for Hobbs & Shaw below

I’ve literally been waiting all summer to check this movie out. I initially wasn’t on board with it at all (even though I’ve only seen Fast Five, I still didn’t think Fast & Furious needed a spin-off), but then I saw the first trailer and I was all in. As the title implies, Hobbs & Shaw sees Luke Hobbs (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) forced to team up to save the world from a dangerous super-virus. Oh, and there’s also Shaw’s sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) in the mix, not to mention a genetically-enhanced super soldier (Idris Elba), the latter also being after the virus.

Overall, I really did enjoy Hobbs & Shaw. As I suspected, the film is mostly an over-the-top action flick, with Hobbs and Shaw at the center of it all. There are fights, explosions, just enough plot to satisfy my brain, and of course, the undeniable chemistry between Johnson and Statham that makes it all work. Seriously, how were these two not paired in a movie sooner? (Yes, I know about them being in that Fast & Furious movie together, but that’s beside the point). I found it hysterically funny to watch these two square up to each other, they’re both alpha males who are definitely not used to working with anyone, let alone another alpha. On that basis alone, I look forward to the sequel that was obviously being set up at the end of the film.

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While highly enjoyable, Hobbs & Shaw is far from perfect. For example, I loved most of the last act that was set on Samoa, once the action got going anyway. But am I the only one who thought the family scene didn’t quiet work? The feeling didn’t last long, since the film almost never slows down the action, but still, that part could’ve been done better. The final fight scene itself was insane (even if it did strain my suspension of disbelief just slightly). I know this is a movie and all, but you can’t seriously tell me that Hobbs and Shaw went through all of THAT (just in the finale alone), without having serious health issues immediately afterward. Maybe I’m nitpicking but that bothered me a little. Oh, and speaking of the finale, I found the slow-motion punch shots to be really unnecessary. I *think* I get what they were going for, but it really does come across as silly.

Can’t finish a review of this film without talking about Idris Elba; he was fantastic! Any scene he’s in, I loved. Honestly, I wish we could’ve gotten more of his character, or at least more time for his character to develop, I think he had the ability to be quite nuanced if we could’ve learned more about him. (Also, I love his motorcycle).

Oh, one last thought. Without giving too much away (hopefully), I think I know who that mysterious voice at the end belongs to. If you think you know too, please don’t say anything in the comments, for now let’s just keep it to ourselves, we’ll find out soon enough if the theory is correct. (And on one further point, I’m very glad I made sure to watch Game of Thrones when the season aired, or a certain line would have royally pissed me off.)

Let me know what you think about Hobbs & Shaw in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Italian Job (2003)

I’ve been told for years that The Italian Job is a film that I should see, and last night I finally got around to seeing it. First thing I have to say is, I am so glad I did, because The Italian Job is a great movie! It does show its age here and there (the dated technology, the fact that the film has opening credits) but overall it holds up pretty well for a film that’s 16 years old.

If you’re not familiar, The Italian Job is loosely (very loosely) based on the 1969 film of the same name, and follows a tight-knit group of thieves as they seek vengeance after a gold heist in Venice goes sideways. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, and Jason Statham (who has actual hair on his head, that’s how old this movie is!) It’s an all-star cast, and I admit I had a lot of fun watching the different characters interact, particularly Jason Statham as Rob. Honestly, any film that has Statham in it, I’m probably going to like (it’s partly his accent, accents are my weakness).

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Actually, this movie reminded me more than once of Ocean’s 11 (2001) and I don’t mean that in a bad way. You have to admit they are somewhat similar: an all-star cast playing rogues and thieves out for righteous vengeance (admittedly that’s closer to Ocean’s 13 (2007) but I digress), the insanely detailed planning of the heist, last minute twists that “change the plan but it STILL works out,” and the biggest similarity: the humor, which is there in spades. Though, while similar, the two films are not identical, as I think The Italian Job is much darker in tone than any of the Ocean’s 11/12/13 films (especially that part at the beginning).

Part of the reason I picked up this film at all is because of the MINI Cooper chase that the film is known for. I’d heard from somewhere that this was regarded as one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed, and whoever said it is right. The entire sequence is phenomenal, and I may never look at those cars the same way again. It’s tense, but fun, and it’s great to see them running circles around their nemesis.

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Last, but not least, I need to talk about Edward Norton. If I hadn’t read beforehand that Norton didn’t want to be in the film, I think I still would’ve figured it out. Norton’s attitude stands out throughout the entire film, and not in a good way. Granted, I believe he’s meant to be playing an asshole character, but the way he does it is a complete turn-off. You can just tell, from his snark to the look on his face, he does not want to be there, and he doesn’t care who knows it.

Actually one final thought: how is it that this film has never gotten a sequel? After the film, I read about ‘The Brazilian Job,’ a would-be sequel that never got off the ground, but  even with that film failing I find it hard to believe that no one in Hollywood has come up with a sequel. With that cast, I would be more than happy to watch a sequel follow their continuing adventures. Well, I’m sure if we wait a few more years someone will come up with the idea to reboot the film into a franchise. And truthfully, as long as they find a way to put Jason Statham into it, I wouldn’t mind all that much.

If you haven’t seen The Italian Job, go see it. It’s an older heist film now, but it still holds up and is very entertaining. I feel a little bad that I put off seeing this film for so long, however it was totally worth the wait.

Let me know what you think about The Italian Job in the comments below and have a great day!

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My Thoughts on: The Expendables (2010)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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By all the rules of film as I understand them, The Expendables should not work. It’s a film filled with big action stars from the last 30 years who are slowly but surely getting past their prime and a story with actors like that just shouldn’t work! However, the action is so over the top that it does work and that’s why I freaking love The Expendables. It’s a story that follows Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his band of fellow mercenaries as they go on a job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis). The regular band of Expendables consists of:

  • Lee Christmas (Jason Statham)
  • Yin Yang (Jet Li)
  • Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren)
  • Toll Road (Randy Couture)
  • Hale Caesar (Terry Crews)

There’s also Mickey Rourke as Tool and Steve Austin (of WWE fame) as Dan Paine, one of the bad guys.

The plot of The Expendables, in a nutshell, is extremely basic. The band of mercenaries gets hired on a job that becomes very complicated and messy before all is said and done. In this case, Barry and the rest of our heroes are engaged to take out the dictator of a small island nation, only to find out that he’s being backed by a rogue CIA agent. It’s about as basic as a plot gets for an action film, but that’s alright because the insane levels of violence make up for any missing plot details. Seriously, this film (and the entire Expendables series) is an homage to the action flicks of the 80s. There are explosions everywhere, huge gunfights, and so much blood and death it’s kind of scary at times. And yet, despite that, as I said before, it just works. All the violence, all the gun fights, there’s something oddly cathartic about it all, that I can’t help but love.

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It really is great to see so many action stars together in one place, that’s just part of what makes The Expendables so much fun, seeing all of those stars together and just watching them bounce off one another in all kinds of entertaining ways (I particularly love the dynamic between Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone).

Let me know what you think about The Expendables in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Expendables 2 (2012)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010)

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Meg (2018)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

When I first saw the trailer for The Meg, I thought one of two things would happen if I saw this movie. One, I would be scared out of my mind or two, I’d be laughing like crazy because of the ridiculous material. It promised to be a semi-interesting film at any rate, as it featured the oft-visited  science fiction scenario of a prehistoric Megalodon wreaking havoc in the modern world. Well, having returned from seeing The Meg, I wish I could say the film did one or the other, or was even a combination of both.

But I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good elements to The Meg. There are some gorgeous underwater scenes showing life in the Mariana Trench and a shot of a shark cage appearing very small in the vast ocean. Actually, the film even starts with a semi-plausible scenario that sets up how a Megalodon could have survived all these years in the modern ocean. And in terms of the cast, Jason Statham does an admirable job with the material he’s given. In fact, the show is almost completely stolen by child actor Shuya Sophia Cai. However, despite these good qualities, I can’t overlook the messier aspects of the story.

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The big problem with The Meg is, it doesn’t seem to know what sort of film it should be. At times it feels like a dark comedy, with any tension relieved by humorous quips (including a Finding Nemo reference). And yet there are also moments where it seems the filmmakers were trying to emulate the terror of Jaws or the scarier aspects of Deep Blue Sea (which might not be the best example but I got strong reminders of that film in particular). If the film had just committed one way or another, The Meg would have been a comfortably enjoyable B-film. Unfortunately it just didn’t work out that way.

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And those are my thoughts on The Meg. What do you think of this film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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Film Reviews

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Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link

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Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

War is a film that I have not seen but I’m sure I would like, given that it stars Jet Li and Jason Statham. The film is the directorial debut of Philip G. Atwell and tells the story of FBI agent John Crawford (Statham) who becomes obsessed with hunting down an assassin named Rogue (Li) after he brutally murders his partner. But, as it turns out, the story isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seems, there are some mind-blowing twists involved.

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Unbelievably, it comes out that the assassin Crawford has been hunting down is none other than his supposed-to-be-dead partner! It turns out that after being supposedly killed, he tracked down and murdered the real Rogue in order to work his way into the Yakuza to find out who ordered the assassin to take out his family. But there’s another twist: it comes out that Crawford is the one responsible for giving out his partner’s address to Rogue (albeit under heavy duress) because he’s been in the Yakuza’s pocket for quite some time. Talk about twists upon twists!

The film was produced under the working title of  Rogue (named for Jet Li’s character) but it was changed to avoid conflicting with an Australian horror film of the same name that was released the same year.

In the interview (which can be accessed in the link above), Tyler explains that he was approached to work on War after the premiere of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and after watching some footage from the film-in-progress, he begged for the chance to score the film. Additional music for the film was provided by RZA, Mark Batson and Machines of Loving Grace.

A major element of the story involves the Chinese Triad going to war with the Japanese Yakuza. As a result, Tyler created a musical blend using Chinese and Japanese instruments against one another to symbolize the growing conflict between the two groups.

I have to say, looking at Brian Tyler’s work has given me a completely new appreciation for action films and their music. A lot of people write off action films as being “mindless” or somehow “less than” bigger dramatic films, but I think action films can be just as good as any other film genre if they’re done properly.

It was really exciting learning how Brian Tyler created the score for War and I hope you enjoy the interview too.

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

Brian Tyler scoring Partition (2007)

Brian Tyler talks Rambo (2008)

Brian Tyler “Law Abiding Citizen” scoring sessions (2009)

Brian Tyler “Dragonball Evolution” scoring session (2009)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010) 

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) scoring session

Brian Tyler scoring session for Iron Man 3 (2013)

Brian Tyler “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014) scoring session

Brian Tyler conducting and scoring Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Brian Tyler “Power Rangers” scoring session (2017)

Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

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