Best movie: Crank (2006)
Deliriously over-the top and campy, Crank is a movie that has absolutely no reason to be as good as it is. As most stars (*cough* Sly Stallone *cough*) tend to take the genre way too seriously, Jason Statham is clearly having fun poking and prodding at action movie clichés in this absurd gem. He plays a British hitman who must keep his adrenaline flowing at all times to prevent the poison in his body from killing him.
This means that he has to involve himself in countless car chases, fist fights, and perverse sexual activity in order to stay alive. And, of course, no one benefits from this more than the bloodthirsty audience. For the full-on action junkie who guzzles Mountain Dew by the gallon and swears John Woo is the second coming of Fellini, Crank is a sublime thrill ride of XBOX proportions.
Blood flows like water, naked women are in abundance, and the dialogue scenes are treated with the subtlety of a chainsaw. In short: By being a satire of the action genre, Crank somehow manages to be one of its best installments.
Runner-up: The Transporter (2002)
After having supporting roles in crime movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Statham proved to the world that he was leading man material in the original Transporter. As a driver-for-hire, Statham showed off his action chops flawlessly as he tussled with cops and gangsters for 90 action-filled minutes. There really isn’t much of a story to speak of, but fans of the genre have long realized that isn’t why they keep watching.