Jason Statham movies are like AC/DC songs: It’s the same three chords, all the songs sound the same, and they’re all capable of melting your face off. I’ve seen most of them, but if you were to describe one to me, I probably couldn’t identify the title. The latest, Killer Elite, it hits all the familiar Statham notes: Hitmen, bullets, explosions, quick-cuts, cliches, and ass-kicking. Ask me in six months how to make the distinction between Killer Elite and the other Statham movies, and all I’ll be able to offer is that it’s the one where Clive Owen had the dumb moustache. But that chair-flip is awesome, and look! DeNiro. And Strahovski.
See what I mean? Same song, slightly different lyrics. But no one watches Statham for the lyrics; we’re in it for the power chords.
To demonstrate my point, I give you the title of 13 Jason Statham movie titles. Below, I provide the brief plot descriptions. How many plots can you match to the titles? (Note: In this game, as in life, there is no right answer. Only gaping plot holes).
List of movies
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; The Italian Job; The Transporter; The Transporter 2; Crank; Crank: High Voltage; War; Death Race; The Mechanic; Killer Elite; Blitz; Revolver and The Expendables
A. An Ex-Special Forces (Jason Statham) operator lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary who moves goods—human or otherwise—from one place to another. No questions asked.
B. Follows an elite hit man (Jason Statham) as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.
C. When his mentor is taken captive, a retired member of Britain’s Elite Special Air Service (Jason Statham) is forced into action. His mission: kill three assassins dispatched by their cunning leader.
D. A gambler (Jason Statham) enters into a game with potentially deadly consequences.
E. Four men pool their money to put one in a high stakes card game, but things go wrong and they end up owing half a million pounds and having one week to come up with the cash.
F. A tough cop (Jason Statham) is dispatched to take down a serial killer who has been targeting police officers.
G. A professional assassin (Jason Statham) faces a mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.
H. A team of mercenaries is given the assignment to take out a corrupt military leader and a rogue CIA operative on a Latin American island.
I. An FBI Agent (Jason Statham) seeks vengeance on a mysterious assassin known who murdered his partner.
J. A driver (Jason Statham) who specializes moving goods of all kinds, surfaces again this time in Miami, Florida when he’s implicated in the kidnapping of the young son of a powerful USA official.
K. An ex-con (Jason Statham) is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
L. A professional assassin (Jason Statham) learns his rival has injected him with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops.
M. Thieves plan to pull off the heist of their lives by creating Los Angeles’ largest ever traffic jam.