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The Transporter (2002)

Uninspired Action Thriller

Starring:

François Berléand

Jason Statham

Matt Schulze

Qi Shu

Directed by:

Corey Yuen

Louis Leterrier

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

The problem with films starring relative unknowns is that they have to be very good in order to survive. The Transporter isn't a good movie. But it is a step up for Jason Statham, who finally gets the lead in this poor man's action movie.

Frank Martin (Statham) is the Transporter (nope it's nothing to do with Star Trek), retired ex-army who now specialises in transporting goods with no questions asked. He's the epithomy of the strong, silent type.

The movie begins with a car chase as The Transporter picks up four criminals after a bank robbery. Even though sirens are flashing and the police are imminent, Frank refuses to move the car.

“Rule One.” He states simply, “Never change the deal. The deal was three men, of 254 kilos, There are four men here.”

And despite everything, he promptly lists a number of factors how and why the criminals won't escape with four men. So the leader shoots one and bundles him on to the street. Placated, Frank is off on a blinding car chase.

The movie itself tries to be too many things, there's the French detective who suspects there's something amiss about Frank, but can't prove it, there's the girl (and love interest) Frank finds when he opens a package, there's the standard evil bad guy. There's guns and rockets and planes and just about everything else you would want in a film of this type.

But it's all those things that make it so much more implausible. While the script is poor at best, the plot holes in this film left me bored after the car chase. The film waddles towards its ununspired ending, with its 'by the book' gun, fight and love sequences added in liberal measure.

A big problem with this film is the camera. Quite simply, it's all over the place. Some scenes (especially the fight scenes) are made up of hundreds of split second badly edited images, which just makes the movie hard to follow and difficult to watch.

It's Got: The excellent Statham (who after Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells deserves much better).

It Needs: A far steadier hand behind the camera

Alternatives:

Matrix Reloaded, the Die Hard trilogy, The Matrix

Summary

Average. Only Statham keeps this film alive with his square-jawed looks and almost irreverent expressions. If you like action movies (and in particular martial arts movies) go see this.