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"The Transporter 2"

Directed by Louis Leterrier.
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
Starring Jason Statham.
Release Year:  2005

Review Date:  9/5/05


Some things change, and some things stay the same, right?  No sane man would expect that "The Transporter 2" to be any better than "The Transporter"...and, that would be an accurate statement.  Unfortunately, the sequel is a little bit worse than the original, due to even more insanely-perfect coincidences and even less of a story this go-round.

At least it runs quickly.  This time, our man Frank Martin (Jason Statham)--former Special Forces-turned-chauffeur-for-hire--is hired by a family living in Miami to drive their child to-and-from school every day while the normal driver is out on vacation.  The family needs this service because they are an Important American Family, featuring an unhappy couple (Amber Valletta, from "Hitch", and Matthew Modine, from...the fuckin' grave, he's been out of relevant films for so long) and an Important Government Job, since the father is the nation's leading drug czar.  Sure, I too wondered why the government didn't drive an armed caravan to pick up the child each day from school, rather than have the former Special Forces badass do it...but, that's just me.

Regardless, the kid is kidnapped by the bad guys and, since it happens on Martin's watch, he makes good on his promise to attempt to rescue the child from the kidnappers, led by a horribly-bad-toothed Colombian contractor (Alessandro Gassman) and his girlfriend, a gun-toting blonde named Lola (Kate Nauta).  Martin does his best to look unaffected by repeated attempts on his life, taking out the Colombian's thugs by any means necessary, usually involving hand-to-hand or hand-to-fire-hose combat.  He mows through almost all of these baddies without even batting an eye, which just makes the combat repetitive, because he never faces any real challenge until his finale with the bad teeth guy.  The driving sequences are well-done but constantly ridiculous; the money shot of the film comes as Martin attempts to remove a bomb from the underside of his nearly-indestructible Audi by...well, you just need to see it to believe it.  Trust me when I say that it had people in my audience howling, this was so unbelievable.

But, then again, much of "The Transporter 2" is just that--completely and totally unbelievably ridiculously bad, but very watchable in its badness thanks to the stunning watchability of Statham, who makes eating breakfast an intriguing character study.  When will he get the shot to actually star in good films?  He can't appear in a Guy Ritchie film every year, even if he is starring in one this year ("Revolver").

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09