This summer, there will be plenty of punches thrown in CGI-heavy comic book blockbusters, but none of them will rock the viewer's gut with the brutal realism of Jason Statham's blows in Safe, director Boaz Yakin's (Fresh, Remember the Titans) impressive new action thriller.

Reminiscent of hard-boiled New York City-set action classics of the 1970s and '80s, Safe finds today's biggest action movie star playing Luke Wright, a suicidal homeless MMA fighter with ties to the Russian mob and other sinister forces, who finds purpose in life protecting a 12-year-old Chinese girl, Mei (Catherine Chan), from the bad men who'll kill to get a number held in her steel trap of a brain. In paying Mei back for giving him a reason to live, Wright shoots, bashes, crunches, and snaps bad guys in a number of wonderfully crowded public set pieces, including one of the ballsiest scenes you'll ever see on an NYC subway train (we still can't believe Yakin got the MTA to sign off on it)

Complex recently sat with Statham at a New York press day. Check out what he had to say about realism in action movie fights and the notorious subway scene.

Follow @ComplexPopCult