Not sure I had even heard of this one hitting the theaters and started off very much not liking this. I may have been pre-disposed to not like it coming off Transporter and The Italian Job. At the beginning, the direction style completely irritated me, pacing was horrible, acting wasn't all that, but thankfully things improved by the midpoint of the show and actually wound up enjoying myself. The plot is pretty much summed up in the trailer so no surprises, but it was a fun enough ride and ended satisfyingly.
I knew this had Kim Bassinger and William H Macy, but didn't recognize the young kid on the box cover, so I did an actual double-take "Hey, Chris Evans!" upon his first closeup in the film. I thought he was completely fantastic as Captain America, but given how much I disliked him in Fantastic Four, him popping up early in his career did not improve my hopes for the movie. Chris starts off the goof and is pretty grating, but once he gets on board with Kim actually being kidnapped, he turns into the reluctant hero that he plays so well. From around the cell phone store scene onward, he's great and surprisingly compelling. Great physical acting and nice that they were able to do so many of the car scenes with him actually driving.
Statham gets to play a bad guy here, but unfortunately he might as well not be in this. Much like Arnold in Raw Deal, his badassery is woefully underutilized and it could be anyone in the role. He's also using his damn American accent again. Really hope that doesn't happen too often in his later movies. On the plus side, he does get a fair amount of gunplay and has a fantastic move disarming Chris in the boathouse. Statham is so crazy-fast, I had to rewind and watch that one again to see if they had sped up the film or something. Pity they didn't do any more of that, but a lengthy fight sequence with a young kid would have been a bit silly.
Badassery Quotient - 5
He does get to threaten Kim alot, but I'm going to start deducting a point when he uses his crappy American accent. Really pulls me out of the movie. He does at least get to shoot up the boathouse, but unfortunately spends about 45 rounds and only hits someone once in the leg. No shirtless stuff either, sorry Sis. If not for the awesome disarm of Chris, there would be very little to like about this role.
Rewatchability - Perhaps
5 minutes in, I thought I was in for a groaner. Mid-point onward, I was having fun and it's been growing on me ever since. I'd watch this more as a Chris fan than a Statham fan, but all in all it was a decent enough film. With a proper director and a tad more polish on the script, this could have been really good. I'd cautiously recommend this to someone who was a Chris fan, but probably not otherwise.
Up next - Transporter 2! I've heard it's not all that compared to the original, but no idea why I skipped this given how much I enjoyed the first one.