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4 items from 2005


Transporter 2

8 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- The filmmakers reveal their James Bond-like franchise aspirations a little too nakedly in this sequel to the 2002 thriller that became a sleeper international hit, but it must be said that "Transporter 2" really does deliver the goods. A fast-paced B-movie that features a series of spectacularly staged and choreographed action set pieces, this second effort starring British actor Jason Statham as the taciturn but deadly driver will no doubt surpass the original's boxoffice take and clearly pave the way for future installments.

Switching from a BMW to a stunning black Audi A8 that complements his character's standard uniform of black suit and tie, Statham again demonstrates his blend of charisma and physical prowess in his second go-round as Frank Martin, the former Special Forces operative who serves as a "transporter" for hire. Having relocated from the French Mediterranean to Miami, Frank has a temporary gig working for a wealthy couple (Matthew Modine, Amber Valletta), for whom he drives their 6-year-old son (Hunter Clary) to and from school. Much like Denzel Washington's similar character in "Man on Fire", Frank has developed a real bond with his young charge.

So he naturally springs into action when the tyke is kidnapped by a gang of ruthless criminals, led by a typically tanned Eurotrash villain (Alessandro Gassman, son of Vittorio) and his sexy homicidal girlfriend (Kate Nauta), who prefers to shoot her guns while wearing only her underwear. Tracking down the kidnappers while simultaneously avoiding the authorities -- thanks to his French buddy (Francoise Berleand) who is conveniently being held at the police station -- Frank uncovers a plot to ingest the kid with an airborne poison that will kill everyone with whom he comes into contact, including his DEA father.

The plot, of course, is merely an excuse for the nonstop action sequences, superbly staged by director Louis Leterrier and martial arts choreographer Cory Yuen (they were, respectively, the "artistic director" and director of the original). Highlights include a car chase taking place on the beach and a multilevel parking lot, among other locations; a race between a bus and a speedboat, the latter of which naturally takes to land; an amazing fight sequence in which Frank dispatches a gang of hoods with a fire hose; and a battle on a small jet that culminates with the plane crashing into the ocean.

The last episode well illustrates the over-the-top aspects of the action, which veers into outlandish Bond-style territory without having the budget to support it. The main character is such a compelling figure that he really doesn't need to be showcased in such credibility-stretching sequences, presented without a trace of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Transporter 2

20th Century Fox

A Europacorp production in co-production with TF1 Film Production in association with Current Entertainment with the participation of Canal+ and TPS Star

Credits:

Director: Louis Leterrier

Producers: Luc Besson, Steven Chasman

Screenwriters: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

Executive producer: Terry Miller

Director of photography: Mitchell Amundsen

Production designer: John Mark Harrington

Editors: Christine Lucas Navarro, Vincent Tabaillon

Martial arts choreographer: Cory Yuen

Original score: Alexandre Azaria

Costume designer: Bobbie Read

Cast:

Frank Martin: Jason Statham

Gianni: Alessandro Gassman

Audrey Billings: Amber Valletta

Lola: Kate Nauta

Mr. Billings: Matthew Modine

Dimitri: Jason Flemyng

Tarconi: Francoise Berleand

Stappleton: Keith David

Jack Billings: Hunter Clary

Max: Shannon Briggs »

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'Transporter 2' tops $20 million

6 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Ending a downbeat summer boxoffice season on an unexpectedly upbeat note, 20th Century Fox's action-powered Transporter 2 drove Labor Day weekend returns above those of the previous year by a solid 16%. Although distributors reported losing playdates throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in areas still contending with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, nationwide, audiences were apparently in the mood for escapism as they climbed aboard Transporter 2 while continuing to support Universal Pictures' The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which stepped down to second place after two weekends in the top slot. At the same time, more sophisticated moviegoers sought out Focus Features' The Constant Gardener, a suspense thriller, which registered a strong third-place showing. Two other national openings, however, barely caused a ripple. Miramax Films' Underclassman enrolled just $3.1 million for the four days. And Warner Bros. Pictures' A Sound of Thunder didn't make a sound with just $1.15 million. With an opening four-day gross of $20.25 million, Louis Leterrier's Transporter 2, starring Jason Statham as a driver and bodyguard protecting the young son (Hunter Clary) of the U.S. anti-drug czar, easily outdistanced the opening of its predecessor, The Transporter, which opened to a three-day figure of $9.1 million in October 2002. The sequel, produced by Europa Corp.'s Luc Besson and Steve Chasman and written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, came close to matching the $25.3 million the first film collected during its entire domestic run. »

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'Transporter 2' tops $20 mil

5 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Ending a downbeat summer boxoffice season on an unexpectedly upbeat note, 20th Century Fox's action-powered The Transporter 2 drove Labor Day weekend returns above those of the previous year by a solid 16%. Although distributors reported losing playdates throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in areas still contending with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, nationwide, audiences were apparently in the mood for escapism as they climbed aboard Transporter 2 while continuing to support Universal Pictures' The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which stepped down to second place after two weekends in the top slot. At the same time, more sophisticated moviegoers sought out Focus Features' The Constant Gardener, a suspense thriller, which registered a strong third-place showing. Two other national openings, however, barely caused a ripple. Miramax Films' Underclassman enrolled just $3.1 million for the four days. And Warner Bros. Pictures' A Sound of Thunder didn't make a sound with just $1.15 million. With an opening four-day gross of $20.25 million, Louis Leterrier's Transporter 2, starring Jason Statham as a driver and bodyguard protecting the young son (Hunter Clary) of the U.S. anti-drug czar, easily outdistanced the opening of its predecessor, The Transporter, which opened to a three-day figure of $9.1 million in October 2002. »

Permalink | Report a problem


'Transporter 2' tops $20 million

5 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Ending a downbeat summer boxoffice season on an unexpectedly upbeat note, 20th Century Fox's action-powered The Transporter 2 drove Labor Day weekend returns above those of the previous year by a solid 16%. Although distributors reported losing playdates throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in areas still contending with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, nationwide, audiences were apparently in the mood for escapism as they climbed aboard Transporter 2 while continuing to support Universal Pictures' The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which stepped down to second place after two weekends in the top slot. At the same time, more sophisticated moviegoers sought out Focus Features' The Constant Gardener, a suspense thriller, which registered a strong third-place showing. Two other national openings, however, barely caused a ripple. Miramax Films' Underclassman enrolled just $3.1 million for the four days. And Warner Bros. Pictures' A Sound of Thunder didn't make a sound with just $1.15 million. With an opening four-day gross of $20.25 million, Louis Leterrier's Transporter 2, starring Jason Statham as a driver and bodyguard protecting the young son (Hunter Clary) of the U.S. anti-drug czar, easily outdistanced the opening of its predecessor, The Transporter, which opened to a three-day figure of $9.1 million in October 2002. »

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4 items from 2005


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