`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 without having to pay the slightest heed to that fantasy killjoy known as `credibility.'
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.
Action / Crime
Action / Crime
Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary "transporter" who moves goods--human or otherwise--from one place to another. No questions asked. Carrying out mysterious and sometimes dangerous tasks in his tricked-out BMW, Frank adheres to a strict set of rules, which he never breaks. Rule One: Never change the deal. Rule Two: No names--Frank doesn't want to know whom he's working for, or what he's transporting. Rule Three: never look in the package. Frank's newest transport seems no different from the countless ones he's done in the past. He's been hired by an American known only as "Wall Street" to make a delivery; but when Frank stops along the route, he notices his package is moving. Violating Rule Three, Frank looks inside the bag, finding its contents to be a beautiful, gagged woman. Frank's steadfast adherence to his other two rules--which make up his basic code of survival--also quickly fails, hurtling him and his new companion on a road leading to shocking secrets, deadly complications, and the last thing that Frank ever expected to come to believe: that rules are made to be broken.
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August 6, 2012 at 6:40 am