The Transporter
Dir: Corey Yuen
Star: Jason Statham, Qi Shu, Matt Schulze, François Berléand
Cert / Year: 15 - PG13 / 2002
Format: DVD R1

A transporter takes a given package to a fixed destination no questions asked. Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is the best in the business. He has only three rules:
Rule 1: Never change the deal.
Rule 2: No names.
Rule 3: Never look in the package.
He has just broken one of these rules and now he must pay.

Welcome to the latest Luc Besson created action film. This is what you get if you mix the best bits of Kiss of the Dragon and Taxi. In other words we have a good contender for action film of the year.

This is very much the same team that bought you Kiss of the Dragon from the script written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, to the production team of Besson (again) and Steve Chasman, and director Cory Yuen (fight director for Kiss of the Dragon). However where as the previous movie had failings, this is a much better film. For a start the addition of the driving scenes has upped the action quotient. This is a film that doesn't pause often for plot exposition. It knows it's an action movie and it sticks to doing that, and doing it well.

And boy does it ever. From the superb opening car chase ( Taxi right down to the Gaelic setting and thumping techno soundtrack), to the numerous martial arts fights. This film never stops long enough to ever get boring. The fights are outstanding; probably more due to the flawless fight choreography and direction from Corey Yuen rather than any ability that Jason Statham has. But just watch the storming of the house, or the oil fight, or the bus fight for some top-notch thrills. However its not all about fights and driving, added to this we have shoot outs, big stunts and even a bit of diving thrown in. What more can you ask.

Jason Statham as an action hero? There are a number of reasons this is not a stupid as it sounds. For a start he is an Olympic diver, and he had and interest in martial arts since he was young. Not to mention he has that tough guy look. These were a number of the factors that were import when his agent Steve Chasman introduced him to Luc Besson. Besson was so impressed he decided to write him a film. Ok so I have bemoaned his lack of acting versatility in the past, and while not as wooden as Jet Li he will never push the boundaries. However this custom role is perfect for him. For once his lack of range adds to the super calm and unflappable central character. Just goes to prove you don't have to be an acting genius to be an action hero

If Statham is perfect for the central role, then he is backed up by a quality cast. A nice touch is the wise old police inspector Tarconi (François Berléand) he is both trying to catch Frank, who he knows is guilty, but at the same time is his friend. Their mutual respect adds a nice element into the mix. If Frank is not short of help he sure has his hands full with the hindrance that is Lai (Qi Shu). Every action hero needs someone to rescue and here she is. Played by established Asian star Qi Shu she adds a lot to what could have been a one-dimensional role. Against them all we have two good movie bad guys in the shape of Matt Schulze and Ric Young (in a much bigger role than Kiss of the Dragon). Both are suitably nasty.

The Transporter is not only the latest in the Luc Besson produced action films, it is also probably the best so far. It is unmistakably one of his films from the better than average script, the French setting, and the soundtrack, to the choice of direction. It is slicker than an oil fight, and more stylish than a customised BMW. It will keep action fans in seventh heaven, and the rest will enjoy its high-octane thrills. Ensuing the latest trend for over the top CGI stunts (take a bow Bond and xXx) this film keeps it real and benefits immeasurably for it (however it does use some neat computer effects to add tracer bullets, to great effect). Overall this is a great action movie.


Rules are made to be broken.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Good quality picture well up to standards.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 The Soundtrack rocks, although subdued surround wise.
Features Audio commentary
!5 mins of extended fights although the extra amount of footage is not that big.
Making of Featurette
Verdict Good transfer with limited extras. Presented on an annoying dual sided disc, so that America who hasn't woken up to widescreen yet can which a cropped version of the film. Next time separate discs please.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home