The Transporter brings nothing new

Oct. 15, 2002, midnight | By Alex Piazza | 18 years, 3 months ago

Rule Number 1: Never change the deal
Rule Number 2: No names
Rule Number 3: Never open the package

These are the three rules that govern the simple life of Frank "I'm not anal, I pay attention to detail" Martin, played by Jason Stratham (Snatch) in Luc Besson's latest directorial effort to bring Hong Kong cinema to the U.S., The Transporter. Working with a whole slew of international actors, Besson follows the primary rule of action movie making by dazzling the eye and accelerating the heart rate but forgets to follow other rules of the film industry such as utilizing any form of or any variation on the cinematographic device of plot.

Martin, who's the official go-to guy for small time burglars and big time slave smugglers alike, maintains an untarnished reputation for precision and punctuality when "transporting." And what, you might ask, does a transporter actually do? Transports, of course. Anything. No questions asked.

And this is where Martin gets himself into some trouble—he agrees to deliver a special package for a client known only as Wall Street (See Rule Number 2), played by Matt Schulze, and as luck would have it Martin's tire blows while transporting and he opens the trunk to find the "package" squirming in his trunk. And so he breaks Rule Number 3—he opens the package—to find Qi Shu, the current hot item in the Asian film industry, trying to wriggle out of a duffle bag.

Up until now the plot was, at least, a plot. Besson did an adequate job in scripting the first half of the movie, but the second half was decidedly written by Tinky Winky the teletubby.

After this point a charming French investigator (Francois Berleand), a strikingly ugly actor named Ric Young, and a love relationship between Martin and Shu which is about as profound as that of an x-rated movie, all contribute to leave the audience in an overall state of bewilderment for the remainder of the film.

Assuming you can ignore your brain's constant begging for some sort of logic, the movie does offer something for your lower-level operations with its creatively choreographed fight scenes and its constant blowing of stuff up.

Statham, who has clearly bulked up since his role in Snatch, finds any way he can to repeatedly rip off his shirt and is even able to incorporate his strip tease into fight scenes as he takes on three thugs armed with only a sweater.

Even the supposedly emotional ending is ruined by an inane one liner. I'll avoid writing it out here -- not out of fear of ruining the ending, but in order to spare you the pain. Really, in this film, there's not much left to ruin.

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Alex Piazza. Alex Piazza is a junior page editor for Silver Chips, one of the better newspapers of the world. While participating in the CAP program, he also plays for the varsity soccer team and plays in an out-of-school band, playing an eclectic mix of styles. Alex … More »

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