Rating: The Ugly – 66 Genre: Action Duration: 92 mins Director: Louis Leterrier, Corey Yuen Stars: Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze
A meticulous driver and all-action bad-ass in the form of Jason Statham transports illicit cargo around the French countryside but gets sucked into a people trafficking racket when he breaks his own rules and looks inside the package. Written and produced by Luc Besson but directed by Louis Leterrier, The Transporter still bears all the hallmarks of the legendary director’s most enjoyable work. An action comedy with a quirky energy that flirts with the laws of physics and slaps a couple of charming characters right in the centre. Statham delivers the goods in more ways than one with his usual mixture of suave wise-cracks and kickboxing acrobatics and Qi Shu makes for a worthy co-star as his endearing yet unintended sidekick. The plot is daft as a brush and you may even struggle to recall what the whole thing was about but with two strong leads, a considered screenplay, and more breathless car-chases, bullets and grenades, and kicks and punches than you can keep up with, The Transporter will race into the good graces of even the most cynical of movie fans.
Rating: The Ugly – 64.4 Genre: Action Duration: 88 mins Director: Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor Stars: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Carlos Sanz
With all its flashy “CSI”-ish editing, any self-respecting movie fan should hate this film but its free-form action hilarity is liable to best even the most hardened of movie snobs. Jason Statham is a hit-man who wakes up to find himself poisoned with a drug that is slowly shutting his system down until he’s brown bread. Not the kind of guy to take things lying down, he immediately sets out on the trail of his poisoners while using any means possible to keep his system fired up with adrenaline. As wild as the premise is, it undeniably makes a great platform for a comedy-action movie and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments of madness along the way. Don’t think too much about this one, simply give in to the sublimely ridiculous.
Rating: The Good – 78.1 Genre: Crime, Comedy Duration: 102 mins Director: Guy Ritchie Stars: Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro
Take your average Coen Brother’s film with all its twists, turns, and overlapping story lines, make every character a stone cold hardshaw, and shoot it full of steroids. You get Snatch! Guy Ritchie’s follow up to Lock, Stock and Two Smokin Barrels about illegal boxing rackets, gypsies, stolen diamonds, and unkillable ex-KGB agents is a frenetic powerhouse of a film defined by charismatic performances (Pitt, Statham, Farina, and Alan Ford are particularly brilliant), a sensational soundtrack and score (kudos to that maestro John Murphy), supercool direction, tremendous sound production, and a razor sharp script that will keep you laughing throughout. The “greedy as a pig” speech in particular will have you on the floor.
Rating: The Good – 76.9 Genre: Crime Duration: 107 mins Director: Guy Ritchie Stars: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran
“No money, no weed. It’s all been replaced by a pile of corpses.” This thoroughly entertaining ‘geezer’ movie from debutant Gut Ritchie is an intricately woven tale of everything and anything that can go wrong when a collection of streetwise thieves, card-sharks, loan sharks, drug dealers, guys who knock off drug dealers, pub landlords, and butchers all cross paths with axes (literally) to grind. The direction is bold and innovative, the hysterical cockney dialogue is like gritty poetry, the story completely original, and the acting is uniformly excellent. Just remember “guns for show, knives for a pro!”