Now that was a hell of a lot of fun. Yet another Statham movie I have no idea why I hadn't seen yet, but very glad I did. Full of energy, completely silly, way over-the-top, and a totally fun ride. I've seen some pretty goofy premises in movies, and this one is pretty out there, but they don't take it too seriously and surprisingly enough, it actually works really well. The director's style threw me off a little bit at first, but by the time Statham knows what's going on, it wasn't bothering me anymore and suited the material just fine. They really nail the proper sense of humor: Not Jackass-style insulting to your intelligence, not Jim Carey-style wait-for-the-laugh, just and endless series of increasingly silly predicaments Statham gets himself into. The pace only really lags when the plot gets in the way of the mayhem near the end, but I'll happily let that slide. Certainly more than washed the foul stench of the Dungeon Siege movie off me.
Statham himself is the best I've seen him outside of his early Ritchie movies or The Transporter. He really sells the plotline through his expressions and reactions and this is an excellent example of a role that's perfectly suited to the actor. It's Statham's Harry Tasker or Indiana Jones. With anyone else, this ludicrous a premise would have been a real groaner, but Statham is completely believable in an unbelievable role. I'm not sure what that says about him, but it's an awful lot of fun to watch.
Special nod of appreciation to Amy Smart and Dwight Yokum. Amy is perfectly cast as the bewildered girlfriend and her scenes when she's in her apartment and her throwdown in Chinatown with Statham are really memorable. I didn't even recognize Dwight at first and he brings just the right touch of calm and wacky to play off of Statham's increasingly frenzied performance. Still laughing thinking about Statham sprinting down the street in his hospital gown while Dwight goes over the symptoms of an epi overdose.
Badassery Quotient - 10
Pretty much has it all from some great driving sequences to fisticuffs to menacing glares. Add to that Statham chopping off a heavy's gun hand to start off the fight and a great sequence stealing and riding a cop's motorcycle in his hospital gown and you have pretty much everything you could hope for.
Rewatchability - Yes please
Found another personal favorite. This one keeps tumbling around in my head more than most and in writing this, I'm tempted to sit down and watch it again right now. A little leery of which audience I'd recommend this to, but anyone who enjoys a good Statham or action movie and isn't put off by a pretty high level of violence and general naughtiness would likely get a kick out of this. Good, good stuff.
Up next - War. It's remarkable how many of Statham's movies I wasn't even aware existed until I looked through his whole filmography. This one has Jet Li in it again and I'll just have to hope it's more satisfying than The One.