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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
`The Transporter' is pretty good for what it is - a sleek, slick,
high-octane action thriller that couldn't possibly expect us to believe
anything we are seeing on screen and, quite frankly, doesn't care that we
don't. That attitude is probably all for the best in this case, since it
allows the filmmakers to devise elaborate action and stunt sequences
having to pay the slightest heed to that fantasy killjoy known as
Jason Statham literally drips attitude as The Transporter, a stolid, nattily dressed former military man who spends his time delivering packages (no questions asked) all over the French Mediterranean for what turn out to be some pretty shady criminal clients. One day he discovers that the `package' he is to deliver happens to be a human being - a pretty young Chinese girl named Lai Kwan who has been dropped, bound and gagged, into the trunk of the sporty car on which he lavishes most, if not all, of the love and caring he has to offer. Yet, Frank turns out, despite his initial air of callous and self-serving indifference, to be a criminal-type with a heart of gold, and he is soon helping Ms. Kwan foil an attempt by her nefarious father to sell a crate load of Chinese immigrants into slavery. However, the plot is the least of the matter when it comes to a movie like `The Transporter.' This film is far more concerned with attitude and style than it is with its storyline, which exists merely as a vehicle on which to hang all the explosions, car chases and kickboxing fight scenes that have become the stock-in-trade for modern action pictures. The movie is well directed, well edited and quite beautifully photographed by cinematographer Pierre Morel, who gives the film's French Riviera setting a bright, sparkling sheen. In fact, Morel's camerawork here is some of the best I have seen in a film in a very long time.
In addition to Statham, who makes for a very `cool' action film hero, Francois Berleand turns in a wonderful performance as a shrewd, wisecracking police inspector who knows that Frank is up to something but who has enough faith in his own instincts to at least give the man the benefit of the doubt. Qi Shu is cute and charming as the uninvited and unwelcome `complication' that steps into Frank's smooth-running, well-ordered life.
`The Transporter' is the cinematic equivalent of junk fast food - not high in nutritional value, but quickly consumed and satisfying when you don't have the time or inclination for something more demanding. Like its cool-under-pressure protagonist, the film delivers the goods.
All action movies should strive to be this imaginative! OK, the plot was
not particularly intriguing, but what action movie's actually is? But the
plot was secondary to the action, it only served to make the bad guys bad
and the good guys good. The rest was up to Jason Statham's considerable
There were some unbelievable yet jaw-dropping stunts, a terrific fight scene in oil, and some great car chase scenes. There were no smarmy one-liners making light of good action sequences as is too often the case in American-directed action flicks. The hero was cold, yet compassionate. He didn't kill unnecessarily, but when he had to, he was ruthless. There are many great action sequences, some so unbelievable you have to just shake your head and remember that action movies are not supposed to be based on reality. There is even a great shot of the hero jumping off a speeding semi while it races over a bridge onto the back of a bus going perpendicular to the truck under the bridge!! I mean, come on! It would never happen, but I have to give credit to the stunt coordinator who imagined the possibilities.
There is another hilarious scene where the hero chases down an airplane on foot, hijacks it, jumps out of the plane at great altitude in order to land on the back of a speeding transport with a conveniently located borrowed parachute! I am glad all crop dusters carry such indispensable equipment and that it is so easy to land on the back of a truck speeding down the highway at 130 KM/hour.
All in all, 90 minutes of sheer enjoyment. Even with the predictable ending, I have to highly recommend this movie. If you can suspend belief for a little while, you will be rewarded.
Having just finished working with a French girl at work, our
conversations about movies (and in particular, Luc Besson) are also at
an end. You see, Besson is my favourite French producer of movies -
whether he's writing or directing. But my former colleague disagrees.
She feels that Besson has neglected his Gallic origins and now spends
his time coming up with ever-more commercial movies that appeal more to
American audiences than French. Having recently raved about the
Besson-scripted "Taxi" (and not the dumb-ass Yankie remake), I can see
her point of view and further evidence is provided courtesy of "The
Transporter" which is a no-nonsense action thriller with the East End's
finest Jason Statham. And before that description sends you fleeing for
your lives, let me explain why you should watch this movie.
Statham plays Frank Martin, an ex-military type living in the south of France. He has a very nice BMW and a shady past he wants to escape. He also has a courier's job of questionable legality. For a suitable fee, he will take any goods to anywhere and no questions asked. He's the best there is which is why local hoodlum Wall Street (Matt Schulze) hires Frank to pick up a bag and deliver it to him. But the bag contains a beautiful Chinese girl (Qi Shu) and soon, Frank finds his conscience again and decides to intervene. Which soon lands him in a whole heap of trouble...
Having only seen Statham in the fabulous "Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels" and the somewhat less-than-great "Italian Job" remake, this film provides a fierce contrast. Statham smacks, kicks and punches his way through the goons like a meatier Jackie Chan and it is impressive. The action is well-staged if slightly OTT and the same can be said for the driving scenes, as every action film these days needs a car chase in France. "Ronin", "Bourne Identity", "Taxi" and now this - where will it end? And although Statham's action man persona is alive and well, his acting ability here is compromised. He's saddled with a strange accent, trying to sound American through that thick London accent and it doesn't work. Qi Shu doesn't really have that much to do besides getting kidnapped and being the love interest and nobody else is as good as Statham. Also, I didn't like the CGI bullets flying everywhere - made the baddies look like they were shooting laser pistols. Still, the scenery looks nice.
But despite it's old-skool approach and dodgy acting, this is still an enjoyable romp through the sunnier parts of southern France. The pace is electric and rarely does the action let up throughout the course of the film. The people-smuggling story doesn't get in the way too much and Statham surprisingly holds the film together as the crook with a heart. It is typical Besson - lots of mindless action and violence and made very much with a young male audience in mind. It's disposable and basic but assuming you fit the audience profile, you'll love it. What it does, it does very well but anyone looking for an intelligent action film should look elsewhere. And I feel that they could have picked a better name than "The Transporter". Makes the film sound like it's set on a ferry...
The Transporter (2002) was a fun action film that was directed by Jet
Li's fight director Corey Yuen and it starred Jason Statham. Jason
stars as Frank Martin. He's a hired gin who does driving jobs for a
hefty fee. For his services he'll use his superb driving skills to get
his paying customers out of a jam. He asks no questions and needs
precise instruction in order to perfectly time his getaways. His number
one rule is to never ask questions. One day he takes a gig from a
sleazy and shady man named Betancourt (Matt Schulze). Instead of
delivering the goods, he breaks his number one rule and peeks inside
A fun action film filled with bone breaking action and wild stunts. People have unfairly slammed this movie for being unrealistic. What do you expect? The action scenes are performed to flamboyant ans stylized you have to suspend belief. It's one of those movies that doesn't throw in realism all of a sudden to make the movie more interesting. Jason Statham is pretty cool as well as the Transporter and he seems legit, not another tough guy phony. HE looks like he can knock the tar out of you in a real fight. Co-stars Shu Qi (she learned to speak English phonetically for her role in this movie).
I still rate this pretty high even if the last 10 minutes got totally
out of hand and went crazy, action-wise. By "out-of-hand," I mainly
refer to the usual excessive action and bad guys-keep-missing-good
guys-even-from-short range-type mentality. Actually, a lot of the film
is that but it's such a fun movie that I didn't care.
Jason Statham is very cool in the lead and it's he that makes this a decent film. I also enjoyed Shu Qi, a very pretty woman; the witty dialog of Francois Berleand and some stylish, tongue-in-cheek directing by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen. Another director whose films are known for their hip styles also co- wrote this: Luc Besson.
Some of the action scenes are outrageous. To Statham's credit, he did most of the action scenes himself. I guess he's a tough guy in real life, too. He's pretty amazing.
A no-brainer-but lots of fun movie.
Jason Statham plays the Transporter, an ex-military man who will move anything that needs to be moved...no questions asked. He has three simple rules. But when he breaks his cardinal rule, no peeking, he opens a varitable pandora's box that he might not survive. Statham plays one cool character. I could see him as a serious action hero type. The project was spearheaded by Luc (The Professional) Besson and directed by Cory Yuen. The film has high energy and is a load of fun. The fighting scenes are cool and the beginning and ending sequences are a blast. Forget the Fast and the Furious use The Transporter 8/10
There's no question that Luc Besson is one of Europe's biggest action
producers. I mean with the cult classics "La Femme Nikita" (1991) and
"The Professional" (1994) behind him, he's basically been given the
green-light for every big action picture he comes across. One of his
latest and most ambitious projects was "The Transporter," released in
I have to admit this is one flick I approached with a very open mind - very open. I mean, I like Jason Statham. I think he's a pretty cool guy and at first, even I questioned his casting as Frank Martin in "The Transporter." But the problem is, and I'm assuming this is the result of the quickly edited action scenes (which were toned down to make the film "PG-13"), he's not being given the room to really be the best he can be.
As the lead character, he's a transporter. He can get you, your associates or your property anywhere, anytime, on time, no questions asked. But you know what? Common sense tells us that it was curiosity that killed the cat, and the cat in this picture thankfully doesn't die some horrible death but instead, curiosity yields him a break - a beautiful woman named Lai (Shu Qi) - bound and gagged, and in the trunk of his BMW.
It's not spoiling much that she and Frank get together and as a result, are forced to do battle with shady and vicious American businessman Wall Street (Matt Schulze) and his army of high-kicking, disposable assassins. There's a little more to the plot and Lai, and the circumstances surrounding her appearance in the trunk of Frank's car, and it involves some smuggling of poor Chinese immigrants from China to Europe, where much of the action takes place.
Speaking of action and there's plenty of it, Statham does display some pretty impressive moves but the frantic editing just doesn't do him justice. He obviously worked out for this part and there are frequent moments when his ripped torso is on display. He also (barely) manages to shy away any possible accusations that he's just a British novelty to American audiences. Director Corey Yuen (whose work on Jet Li's 2001 action film "Kiss of the Dragon" I admired), is behind it and Besson's got a producer credit.
The problem may not be Statham because I think he's a really cool actor with a raspy British accent, but the script is worth some deeper examination by more thoughtful minds. There are plenty of holes and unanswered questions (i.e., the extent of Frank's military training and experiences, Lai and how she wound up with Frank and her quarrelsome relationship with her father who is played by Ric Young, and the plot with the Chinese smuggling).
But why am I making such complaints? "The Transporter" is an action movie; no plot required. Despite some bumps in the road, "The Transporter" is pure action fun from beginning to end, and I got my free ticket to see "The Transporter 2" on Friday.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am usually apprehensive about seeing films with relatively unknown faces,because either they are shoddily directed,or woefully low-budget affairs that are quickly forgotten.This movie however proved me wrong completely.Jason Statham plays a retired military man who makes a living by transporting goods in France,and no questions asked about their particulars.Things are hunky-dory until he finds that he is transporting a young Chinese girl in his car,who happens to be the daughter of a crime-lord,illegally bringing in immigrants from Asia.What's more,she is bent on stopping her father and this makes both of them targets of the organization.The film is extremely well made,and the action sequences are deftly handled by Cory Yuen.Jason Statham has the makings of a good action hero in him , and I wouldn't mind seeing more of him.Newcomer Shu Qi is pretty articulate ,but in the end it is the fast-paced action that makes this film a product worth trying,as none of the characters save Statham leaves any impression on the viewer.Pure unadulterated action for a Saturday night.
Nearby Nice, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) transports and delivers illegal
cargoes. His business is supported by three basic rule: Rule no. 1 The
deal is never to be changed; Rule No. 2 No names; and Rule No. 3 Never
watch the cargo. The day he breaks his own rules, he realizes he is
transporting a Chinese girl, Lai (Qi Shu), and he gets in many troubles due
to his fault. This movie is pure action having all the usual clichés: car
chasing, explosions, fights when nobody uses guns, the lead actor gets some
kind of involvement with the victim etc. But the choreography is excellent
and the action scenes are great. Jason Statham recalls Bruce Willis in `Die
Hard'. If the viewer do not think, he will have an enjoyable entertainment.
My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): `Carga Explosiva' (Explosive Cargo')
The first time I watched this movie, I was hooked, I think it is a
sleeper cult classic.
This movie has all the makings of a great testosterone flick. It starts with a wild car chase in France, introduces some memorable phrases, adds an attractive woman and antagonist with a very bad hair piece. There is also the required explosions and fight scenes, but they are not over-the-top.
The plot is not spectacular, but hey, it's a guy movie. Jason Statham makes a great tough guy, loved him in The Italian Job as well.
I recommend inviting your friends over, grabbing some Orangina, and watching this great movie.
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