In the sorely underrated Hummingbird, oil-wrestling action man Jason Statham tried to get us to love his soul, rather than just his body. This weirdly faithful remake of the 1986 Burt Reynolds vehicle Heat (adapted by screenwriter William Goldman from his own novel) makes a similar play for our affections and, despite landing a lacklustre punch in the US, it plays its hand with enjoyable off-kilter bravado. As before, the existential compulsive-gambler narrative sets Vegas “chaperone” Nick (the Stath) against heavily protected scumbag Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia) on a rape-revenge mission that spirals into episodic oddness, interspersed with bouts of satisfyingly limb-ripping violence. Garden shears are applied to shrinking penises; hundreds-of-thousands of dollars are won and lost on gambling tables; double vodkas are drunk; dreams are realised, abandoned and dreamed anew; knives and fists are crunchily smashed into sinew, skin and bone.

Through it all, Statham’s facial expression and vocal delivery remain the same, an iconic monotone surrounded by a rogues’ gallery of smartly chosen screen-thesps (everyone from Anne Heche to Stanley Tucci) who effectively do the acting for him. Heaven knows what Brian De Palma (originally slated to direct) would have made of it, but nuts-and-bolts man Simon West, with whom Statham remade The Mechanic, keeps things simple. As for the Stath, he may never be a great (or even good) actor, but the camera loves him and he fights like a dancer – a quality rare among English-speaking action heroes.