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THE TRANSPORTER 2 (PG-13) (2005)

20th Century Fox

Official Site

Director: Louis Leterrier

Producers: Luc Besson, Steve Chasman

Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Cast: Jason Statham, Alessandro Gassman, Amber Valletta, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng, Hunter Clary, François Berléand, Keith David


Well when you think about big action movie sequels, might you think of a sequel to 2002’s The Transporter, which was somewhat of a cult hit, featuring tough guy, Jason Statham as Frank Martin? Frank’s a former special forces agent turned special forces delivery man.

After the end of the first film, Frank’s migrated from France to Miami. He’s moonlighting as a chauffeur for the Billings family’s son, Jack (Clary). Jack’s father (Modine) is a DEA official with a bit of a rocky relationship with his wife, Audrey (Valletta). After a trip to the doctor’s office gone bad, Jack is in the clutches of a criminal by the name of Gianni (Gassman) and his psychotic lady-friend, Lola (singer-now-actress, Nauta). I get the feeling producer and screenwriter Besson was either trying to make some sort of dig or homage to his ex-wife and starring actress for his previous efforts (Milla Jovovich) with Lola, who only appears wearing slutty lingerie and heaping amounts of mascara/eye-liner. Gianni just appears to the policemen like Stappleton (David) as a normal kidnapper looking for ransom. But after seeing some nasty chemicals being passed around, and considering the occupation of Jack’s father, it doesn’t take the sorcerer supreme to figure out that something more sinister is afoot.

So barring that you have a fairly recycled amount of plot and characters, what does this movie deliver on? Well Statham’s Frank is certifiably awesome. He’s efficient to an even more infinite degree than Sousuke Sagara. His athleticism would make AJ Styles’ eyes widen. His nice black suit dress sense would make Roger Smith jealous. Statham’s an effective physical figure. He conveys so much with this character while saying very little. And he possesses physical charisma and presence to spare. His performance makes the experience more tolerable without having to think as much about the mediocre acting and plot.

If there was another Besson character Frank Martin could best be compared to, it would probably be Jean Reno’s Hubert Fiorentini in Wasabi, who is another one of those uber-men, and ultra-competent types. Though one might notice there are similar male protagonist characters throughout Besson’s work, such as Bruce Willis’s Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element, and Jean Reno again in Léon… This is of course not to exclude the significance of the femme fatales represented in Besson’s filmography as well, seeing as the character of Lola shares impeccable similarities to Nikita of Besson’s La Femme Nikita and Leeloo of The Fifth Element. So when the characters of Frank and Lola battle in The Transporter 2 it’s almost symbolic of the evolution of Besson’s work and characters, as his idealized male finally faces off against his idealized female in battle.

… or maybe that’s just the Thomas Schatz in me speaking.

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

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