Friday, January 25, 2013


Try Googling 'fallen from grace' and you just might get a picture of Jason Statham.  Back in the late 90's/early 00's, Statham, helped in large part by director Guy Ritchie, really shot out of the gate.  Films like 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch' thrilled critics and fans of the energized British crime genre, and Statham became an instant star.  He continued his reign with decent action films like 'The Transporter', 'The Italian Job', and 'Crank', and then peaked in 2008 with 'The Bank Job'.  But since then, it's been a second and third 'Transporter', a second 'Crank', two 'Expendables', 'The Mechanic', 'Blitz', 'Killer Elite', and 'Safe'.  Quite honestly, there's nothing less creative or original than these movies other than the titles themselves.  (I predict the next ones to be titled 'Hard Case', 'The Cleaner', 'Hustle & Punch', and maybe just 'Guy'.  This is a fun game!  What are some of your predictions?)  But, you know that wise old saying in Hollywood:  When you're down, co-star with Jennifer Lopez.  That's bound to work.  (Oooh!  'Bound to Work'!  That's another one!) 

This time Statham is a thief who plays by his own set of rules.  He says what he means and means what he says, and expects the same from his associates.  And considering that generic premise, and the above poster, with the above tagline, and Statham's last eight to ten films, as well as Lopez' track record, all signs pointed to a terrible experience.  And yet, it wasn't at all.  In fact, it was pretty pleasurable.  Statham is good, Lopez is good, and the supporting cast including Michael Chiklis, Patti Lupone, and Bobby Cannavale are all good.  And there's even a slight plot turn or two that make the film feel a little fresh.  All in all, it's a fun movie that's paced well.  It's a pleasant surprise and Statham buffs will surely get their money's worth.

Grade: B+

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