The Transporter

"Good"

The Transporter Review


Adrenaline-fueled and mirthfully over-the-top, "The Transporter" is the kind of action movie that winks at the audience in a "we know this is stupid, just have fun" way that big, dumb stunts-and-guns summer blockbusters like "XXX" are sorely lacking.

In "XXX," star Vin Diesel seems to think he's genuinely cooler than cool and director Rob Cohen treats his video-game-fodder plot with laughable seriousness.

But in this kaplewy-and-kung-fu fun-ride, equally tough but tongue-in-cheek star Jason Statham ("Snatch," "The One") and martial arts choreographer-turned director Cory Yuen so clearly revel in their picture's excesses that you can imagine Yuen hollering "Cut," and Statham smiling back at him like a kid on a roller coaster, saying "Let's do that again!"

Buff and fashionably scruffy Statham plays an ex-Special Forces operative with a cool jerk smirk who now makes his living transporting anything and everything -- bank robbers during a getaway, a briefcase full of who-knows-what -- with "no questions asked." He has three rules: 1) Never change the deal, 2) no names, and 3) never look in the package. But when he hears muffled screams coming from the big, squirming duffel bag in the trunk of his black BMW during his latest job, rule No. 3 goes out the window, and out of the bag comes a kidnapped cutie from Hong Kong (talented knockout Shu Qi).

Trying to get her back in the sack to make his delivery proves impossible, and soon the Transporter's Eurotrash clients (in cahoots with the girl's immigrant-smuggling father) are trying to kill them both, with amusing, absurdly amplified action-flick results.

This is the kind of movie in which the trite phrase "It's quiet...too quiet" is followed by a shoulder-launched missile blasting into the gas stove in the hero's kitchen and blowing his converted lighthouse-chateau on the French Mediterranean coast sky high. But not to worry -- he and the girl escaped through an underwater passage in his cellar, where, of course, he keeps two sets of diving gear for just such an eventuality.

The ironically glib Statham is such an irresistibly charming and cunning good-guy thug that even between fight and stunt sequences "The Transporter" loses none of its punch. He chews scenery with aplomb, delights in his friendly rivalry with a local detective (Francois Berleand), who is clearly on to him, and seduces Shu as if he could actually hear the ludicrous romantic overture that swelled over the non-stop hard-rock soundtrack when he first pulled the duct tape from her mouth after letting her out of his trunk.

But the heart of this beast -- produced and co-written by Luc Besson of "La Femme Nikita," "The Professional" and "The Fifth Element" fame -- are the amped-up action set pieces that are Yuen's specialty. The film's opening scene is a whiplash-inducing car chase that distinguishes itself with wild wide-angle lenses, gear-shifting inserts and pauses for capricious comic relief as Statham calmly transports some very green and panicked thieves from a heist gone wrong.

The director takes the time within his staccato style for little indulgences like reaction shots from his sarcastic protagonist. This is especially and refreshingly the case during his wow-packed but unhurried and clearly-photographed fight scenes, like the one in a local bus yard where a drum of motor oil gets spilled, making henchmen lose their footing while Statham (oiled up and too slippery to tackle or grasp) rips the toe-clip pedals off a nearby bicycle so he has traction and the ass-kicking advantage.

As entertainingly exaggerated popcorn-chompers go, "The Transporter" ranks not far behind the all-time action-camp champ like Robert Rodriguez's south-of-the-border shoot-'em-up "Desperado" and John Carpenter's "Escape from New York" and "Big Trouble in Little China."



The Transporter

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th October 2002

Box Office USA: $25.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $43.9M

Budget: $21M

Distributed by: Fox

Production compaines: TF1 Films Productions, EuropaCorp

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 66 Rotten: 59

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Frank Martin, as Lai, as Wall Street, as Tarconi, as Mr. Kwai, Doug Rand as Leader, Didier Saint Melin as Boss

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review

This much more light-hearted sequel reinvigorates the franchise after Disney's quirky but murky 2010 reboot...

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Love & Friendship Movie Review

Acclaimed filmmaker Whit Stillman reunites the stars of his 1998 drama The Last Days of...

Money Monster Movie Review

Money Monster Movie Review

A sleekly made thriller with a sparky sense of humour, this is also a rare...

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Advertisement
Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.