In all fairness, one could consider this a “Soft Launch” to last week’s proposal of viewing The Stath’s major bodies of work. It may also be stretching the bounds of decency to describe this as a “major body of work”, but I viewed it nonetheless. The 2001 remake of Burt Reynolds‘ 1974 film of the same name, Mean Machine was a vehicle for ex-professional footballer (soccer to those lovely readers in the US) Vinnie Jones. To describe the comparatively small role inhabited by Mr. Statham as eccentric would be a somewhat mild description of the character known as “Monk”. One supposes that to make his behaviour unhinged would be to lend his name a comedic edge also.
Even at this early stage in his career – Mean Machine was his 6th feature – our introduction is by way of a set of chiselled abs. And with a body like his, what man wouldn’t be willing to get his shirt off? What with that and a little demonstration of his martial arts skills, we’re definitely playing to his strengths. We also get a chance to hear The Stath “doing” an accent; Scottish to be precise. There’s really not a lot more to say about Mean Machine. Just think Escape to Victory (only worse, if that’s possible) coupled with John Forgeham‘s Noel Coward-esque performance – directly channelled from The Italian Job.
What I find interesting is that Mr. Statham’s and Mr. Jones’ acting careers both started with 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. In the intervening (nearly) 17 years, Mr. Statham has 42 acting credits to his name, while Mr. Jones has made hay while the sun shines with a whopping 85 acting credits. May I be so bold as to suggest that The Stath has been a little more discerning with his work selection…
Thank you for reading 🙂