Directed by Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen.
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
Starring Jason Statham.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 10/29/02
Random Movie Note: I was surfing on Friday afternoon, and on a
random search went to the website for “The Matrix” trilogy (http://www.whatisthematrix.com).
They just released the posters for the next film,
Reloaded”, and I must admit, they are pretty sweet. Those looking
for new computer wallpaper will love the six shots of stars from the
next movie, four of whom you will recognize right away. The posters
will start appearing in your local multiplex in mid-November.
I was pretty convinced that the new
action-adventure film “The Transporter” was going to suck, if only
because in the previews for this film, the hero deflects a rocket
with a buffet plate. When I saw that in the trailer, I busted a gut
and I simply could not stop laughing, the idea was so ridiculous.
Luckily, that shot is dropped from the
finished version of the film and what is left is a reasonably
serviceable action film. My man Brett and I took in “The
Transporter” this week and we had to admit, it wasn’t a total dog.
Jason Statham (“Snatch”,
“John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars”) is
pretty good as lead good guy Frank Martin, a courier that
specializes in transporting packages, money, criminals and other
odds & ends for shady customers. As is naturally the case with this
kind of film, Martin is an ex-military man that is fed up with the
system and has...
...which means that he was previously
oppressed by someone and he just won’t take it anymore! Although
I’m not sure if it was ever explained exactly what kind of
ex-military man Martin was, you can expect that he is a full-service
action hero, complete with martial arts skills, marksman-like
firearms accuracy, knowledgeable in all manner of vehicular
operations and car combat, and—I almost forgot that you can acquire
this training in the military—a master architect who has designed a
French villa with “all the fixins” (i.e., an underground lair,
etc.). Man, do I love the movies. In the film, Martin makes the
mistake of opening one of his packages—and, inside lies a girl named
Lai (Qi Shu) who is, yep, trouble.
Since Luc Besson (director of “The
Professional”) wrote and produced this film, you aren’t totally out
of luck. The action scenes are not bad—even if they are completely
ridiculous—and Statham could have a future as a B-level action
star. The scenery of the film is just beautiful—the French
countrysides surrounding Nice are amazing, and director Corey Yuen
does a great job of filming his stars against these backdrops.
Brett and I agreed that the soundtrack is pretty good—shit, we’ve
even got a Nate Dogg track on here!—but, for whatever reason, it is
the placement of these songs that is difficult to understand. They
don’t always match the mood correctly, but they are kind of catchy.
Oh, and it must be noted here—there is a scene in “The Transporter”
where three thugs try to take out not just Martin, but what seems
like an entire city block by firing three missiles at his house and
loading his villa with what seemed like almost 500 rounds of machine
gun fire. By the time they get to the third rocket—with a shark
drawn on the side of it, like they were going to drop it on Japan
during WWII—I was laughing hysterically because I couldn’t believe
that these guys were going to level Martin’s house with this much
firepower. It’s like sending two Sherman tanks over to a row house
to blow it apart. Talk about excessive!
Naturally, though, the scenes with no action
are not nearly as interesting, and Shu seemed to be so uncomfortable
with her English dialogue that it made ME uncomfortable watching her
try to act. The bad guys are atrocious and there is this long,
useless, gratuitous sequence where Martin and Lai are swimming to a
destination underwater that felt like it was going to take an hour.
Oh, and the end line—“He may be a bastard, but he’s my father!”—made
me laugh so hard at the unintentional comedy that I think the folks
sitting behind us thought I was insane. Really bad.
But, I thought this was going to be shit and
instead “The Transporter” wasn’t too bad. Hopefully, Statham will
show up in better material in the near future.
Comments? Drop me a line at
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
"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 bad...man, 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
"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