Hobbs & Shaw teams up Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as reluctant partners, but which actor is really the better action star? If only one of them could continue to have a career based on your decision, which would you choose?
This is, deliberately, a difficult decision. Both actors are charismatic, likable movie stars. Both have made a fair number of entertaining movies, even outside their pairings in the Fast & Furious franchise. Unfortunately, both have made quite a few duds as well.
It’s really hard to dislike Dwayne Johnson. With the right vehicle tailored to his strengths, I feel like he could be this generation’s preeminent action star, what Arnold Schwarzenegger was to the 1980s and early ’90s. Sadly, I don’t think he’s found that vehicle yet. The Furious franchise may use him well, but until this new spinoff he’s been a supporting player to Vin Diesel’s hero. Johnson’s other star projects, even the ones that have been hits like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, have been pretty mediocre as movies. (I’m excluding Moana from this discussion since it’s not an action flick.)
Jason Statham also has a very appealing screen presence, though he has largely focused on B-level projects. While he doesn’t have a lot of range as an actor (neither does Johnson), he proved in Spy that he has a surprisingly strong facility for comedy.
Looking over the respective filmographies, the highpoints of Statham’s career (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch; the gonzo insanity of the Crank franchise) exceed anything in Johnson’s, and none of his duds (of which there are many, admittedly) are nearly as bad as Doom or Hercules.
Advantage: Jason Statham?