Monday, February 22, 2010

Transporter 2 (2005)

Movie quotes:
Audrey: And thank you for what you did.
Frank: For what?
Audrey: For turning the car around so that Jack wouldn’t have to see us fighting. You really know kids, don’t you?
Frank: I know fights.

At a glance:
Jason Statham returns as the driver with many talents (especially regarding fighting) in this mostly fun sequel peppered with inventive fight choreography and sappy dramatic scenes

Our review (with spoilers):
Frank (Jason Statham) the Transporter’s seemingly innocent assignment to ferry a 10 year old boy to and from school suddenly becomes a lot more stressful when the boy is infected with a deadly virus. And why would baddie Gianni Chellini (Alessandro Gassman) do such a heartless thing? Simple – the target is his father, Jefferson Billings (Matthew Modine), a leading security expert. By infecting Billings just before a big security conference, Chellini can wipe out hundreds of industry leaders in one evil night.

Frank’s job is simple: get the antidote, save the boy, save his dad, save the other business leaders, and save the mom – and avoid sleeping with the mom, despite her willingness and vulnerability. Meanwhile, he has to avoid cars, trucks, punches, knives, swords, syringes, and bullets.

With Transporter 2, the co-directors credits from the first film have been abandoned, and we now can determine that Corey Yuen is responsible for the excellent fight/stunt choreography, whilst Louis Leterrier can take credit for the sappy dialogue (always delivered over a sickening, soft-core soundtrack – in case we can’t tell that people are speaking to each sincerely on our own). For his part, Yuen tries to top the first film by going over the top – in one early scene, Frank’s car flies from floor to floor of adjoining buildings with a decidedly Chitty Chitty Bang Bang quality – a quality that thankfully was missing from the first film. There is also a sexy yet emaciated sick female baddie, played by Amber Valletta in a kind of dark-eye-makeup homage, perhaps, to Daryl Hannah’s character Pris from Blade Runner.

The fight scenes are top notch; they usually feature one key gimmick or limitation (for example, in one scene, Frank neutralizes 6  bodyguards, all with guns, before any of them can fire a shot; or another memorable scene where Frank’s only weapon is a fire hose).

Rating:  2.75 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"Besides a fun script and never-a-dull-moment directing, Jason Statham really deserves praise for his screen presence. Expect mindless action and have a great time."
- Ross Anthony (Hollywood Report Card)

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