As an action star, Parker's Jason Statham effectively splits the difference between burly 80s action hero and classic Hollywood heavy. With that in mind, we rounded up the best of Statham's grizzled, growling tough-guy forefathers
1. Lee Marvin: Nobody is harder than Marvin. Nobody. Do you think you are? Try saying that to Marvin's face! Well, you can't. He's dead. So maybe death is harder than Marvin. But that's it. That's the pecking order: the grim inevitability of death, then Marvin. Just watch Point Blank. You'll understand.
Statham Connection: In Parker, Jason Statham plays an inferior version of Lee Marvin's character in Point Blank. Both films are based on novels by Donald E. Westlake.
2. Charles Bronson: Bronson has a badass CV as long as your arm: Machine-Gun Kelly, The Dirty Dozen, Once Upon A Time In The West, The Mechanic and, of course, Death Wish. From film noir heavy to shirtless western antihero to snarling self-parody, Bronson had one of the richest and widest-ranging tough-guy careers.
Statham Connection: In Simon West's 2011 update of the 1972 Michael Winner (RIP) film The Mechanic, Statham starred as Arthur Bishop, a role originally played by Bronson.
3. Warren Oates: With a face like an old catcher's mitt, Oates brought a world-weary grace to films like The Wild Bunch, The Hired Hand and Two-Lane Blacktop. But he was never better than in Sam Peckinpah's grisly low-budget thriller Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia.
Statham Connection: Oates starred as Lyle Gorch in Sam Peckinpah's end-of-the-west Western The Wild Bunch, which was pretty much The Expendables of its day. Like Statham in that film, Oates was something of a junior partner in the film's gallery of fading movie icons.
4. Steve McQueen: The ultimate Vietnam-era antihero, McQueen earned his tough-guy chops in The Magnificent Seven (alongside Bronson), The Great Escape, Bullitt and (my favourite) The Getaway. And more than being tough, McQueen was definitively cool - more counterculture rebel than grimacing postwar nihilist.
Statham Connection: In manner, Statham may be closest to McQueen than any of the other upper pantheon badasses. By turns cold and volatile, both actors can capably sell the sneering cool they put across. They also both seem to like riding motorcycles. If only McQueen had made his Crank 2: High Voltage...
5. Clint Eastwood: Maybe Eastwood deserves a higher place on this list. But Bronson never drove around in a truck with an orangutan. And while Oates may have waxed philosophic about his GTO, he never wrote a goddam song about it. Still, no tough guy short list is complete without the original Man With No Name.
Statham Connection: Well, both of them are kind of squinty. And they really like one-liners. Like in Sudden Impact, Eastwood's "Dirty" Harry Callahan famously says "Go ahead, make my day," when a robber threatens so shoot a waitress. And in The Expendables 2, Statham says, "I now pronounce you man and wife" before knifing some bad guys in a church. So there's some continuity there. Maybe?