The Transporter

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Starring: Jason Statham
Directed By: Corey Yuen
Rated: Rated PG-13 for action sequences and some sensuality

Final Grade:

In a world where everything is dependent on rules, it’s hard not to break them from time to time. Sure I remember as a kid, doing the exact opposite of what I promised myself I wouldn’t do in a certain situation, and I also remember the punishments I took for doing it. The moral of the story is don’t do stupid things. Trust your instincts and your initial thoughts and you will make it through life fine… most of the time. If you do the opposite it could turn out deadly or at least unhappy. The Transporter takes this theory to another level.

Frank Martin plays everything by the rules. His job, a transporter, requires it. His life is simple enough. He picks up jobs here and there simply being a delivery boy for criminals no questions asked. In fact the less he knows about his clients the better. No names, no reason, no info at all, just the date of delivery, the time and the place. But some things are just too hard to resist. Frank takes on a delivery job that pays enough, but he finds out he is delivering a live body. His compassion gets him into trouble, when he breaks the rules and opens the package. Upon delivery, his clients realize that he has broken his own rules, and try to kill him for it. However what his clients didn’t realize is that Frank doesn’t die that easily and will fight back at all costs. As he gains his revenge for the attempt on his life, he gains the help of his previous “delivery,” a girl named Lai, who becomes not only the reason he is being hunted, but the start of a romance.

Jason Statham plays the role of the quiet, calculating action hero quite well. We haven’t seen much of Statham in the past, and this is one of the first times we see him in a lead role. His martial arts ability gives him an advantage over other action stars, and I kind of hope to see more of him in the future. However, as of now his talent as an actor is still developing. His acting seems a little rough around the edges, and not that fine tuned, but as he continues to grow as an actor I have a feeling he could be a star. The potential is there, if he is just given the right roles. What? You don’t believe me? Heck, if Sylvester Stallone can have a career in acting then I think anyone has a chance at being famous.

Writing credits for The Transporter are given to Luc Besson (The Professional) and Robert Mark Kamen (The One) and it is very easy to tell notice the similarities to both films. Statham in fact starred in The One, so it is no surprise that director Corey Yuen (The One) picked him for this role. The Transporter takes the quiet, calculating man who is the bad guy fans root for, and puts him in high action fight scenes. The character is definitely the works of Besson, and can easily be compared to Jean Reno’s character in The Professional but the action added into it scream bad action that only the likes of Kamen could produce. Besson is a visionary but mix him with the likes of Kamen and you get a mediocre script that even though it keeps you entertained, its hard to really say it is “good.” Giving a script like this to director Corey Yuen (The One) only means bad things. The team of Yuen, Besson and Kamen give us a script that really doesn’t know what it wants to be. On one hand its The Professional all over again, on the other it’s a Bad Jet Li film with a Jerry Bruckheimer happy ending.

If you want to see some decent action scenes, and be entertained, then it may be worth checking out at a discount theater (reviewer’s cheap plug: support my paycheck! See it at North Grand 5!) But all in all, I had higher hopes for this film than it gave me. It may be the first time I have ever seen a martial arts display on an oil slick, and maybe even a decent action flick but it is nothing more than a popcorn flick. For those of you who I have confused, think of it this way. Everyone loves popcorn at a movie, but it never really fills you up. It’s good at the beginning of the movie, but by the end it’s getting old. By the time you leave the theater, you don’t really care for popcorn anymore and your appetite craves something else. The Transporter is the same way, it’s ok while you are in the theater but by the time you leave your mind will be craving a level of intellect that this film could never provide for you. So that’s the verdict on The Transporter. You could do worse, that’s for sure, but it’s not high on my list of recommendations.

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