Thursday, 12 March 2009

Unlikely Hero

What do Nicholas Cage, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal and Jackie Chan have in common? Apart from currently being action movie stars who appear to have limited acting skills, they are all big names in Korea and have their films shown repeatedly on Korean cable television. Currently one of the film channels is in it's Steven Segal season, and boy are some offensively bad. Can we now throw in another name into the pantheon? Jason Statham.

There is no doubt he is a C-list name but Jason Statham's films have been on TV here over the last twelve months countless times. Transporter 1, Transporter 2, War, Snatch and of course, Crank have been on heavy rotation here. He is certainly a rising star here in Korea. Defying all pre-Korea logic I went with my girlfriend to watch Transporter 3 recently at the cinema and I can tell you its utter cheesiness plus good action sequences, was very enjoyable. My girlfriend now seems to be hooked on all things Statham and we've since downloaded and watched more of his films. Perhaps it is the fact that he seems to take his shirt off a lot rather then his 'acting skills' which she likes.

But what is his appeal to some of the public? He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously in his films and there are plenty of funny moments (especially Transporter 3 and Crank) and his gruff exterior, I guess, is popular with the ladies. But for me his preposterous mix of faux cockney/mockney and appalling American accent are what seals the deal. In fact his American accent is so bad it flirts back to straight English 70% of the time especially when he shouts, which he likes to do. A lot.

To be honest, his attempt at an Americanised voice is so ridiculously bad this now equals good. Somehow he has developed a career as an actor in Hollywood as an action hero and perhaps now he is more established he can drop this his attempts at such an accent. For some reason he appears to be unable to smile no matter the situation, and is always in a Dr. Banner "you won't like me when I'm angry" type way. Jason Statham also regularly appears in Guy Ritchie films, especially Revolver. This is said to be one of the worst films ever made. The baffling appeal of Jason Statham continues.

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