It is pretty safe to say that car-loving courier, Frank Martin (Jason Statham), is a very meticulous type of a character by nature. For example, he is very professional in his criminal related profession. Also, he keeps his rustic Parisian villa, very neat and tidy. Plus, in addition to this, he is very congenial towards his French friend and ally, Inspector Tarconi (François Berléand), too.
Well, that's most probably why he is very concerned about his current job you see.
Now Frank was told that he had to pick up a package in his car, and then deliver it to some smiling businessman named Darren Bettencourt (Matt Schulze). However, during this dodgy dealing, Frank finds out that what he is carrying isn't just a package-type package, oh no. But rather a small oriental lady called Lai Kwai (Shu Qi).
And do you know what the most peculiar thing about all this is? It's that as soon as Frank discovers Lai, a lot of 'lying' is done by one and all.
For a start, Frank lies to Darren when he delivers the 'package' to him, telling him that he does not know what was inside it. Then Darren lie's to Frank, and blow-up his car, causing Frank to retaliate, and inadvertently take Lai back home with him. Next, Frank and Lai lie to Inspector Tarconi, concerning why Franks home was used as target practice by Darren's henchmen. After that, Darren also lies to Inspector Tarconi, when Frank and Lai approach him concerning a human training ring, resulting in Frank being arrested by the police, after Lai's father, Mr. Kwai (Ric Young), subdues him. And finally, Inspector Tarconi lies to his own police department, when he helps Frank escape custody, so that he can then deal with Darren on his own terms.
Boy-oh-boy! That is a lot of lying, right? Too much some may say. But still, that is most probably why what next transpires is a right high octane affair all in all. As fights are very sticky - couriers are very tricky - driving is very dickey - and please don't forget, that nobody takes the Mickey out of the oriental chicky.
Now compared to the subsequent two instalments of this film franchise (click here for my review of 'Transporter 2', and here for my review of 'Transporter 3'), I have to admit, that I did somewhat enjoy 'The Transporter' an awful lot more. Well, not only did it tell a somewhat less convoluted story-line, but it also manages to do so in a much more relaxed manner and a less showy way.
For example, the first fifteen minutes or so of this film, sets up who Jason Statham's character, Frank, is all about. Then, the subsequent thirty minutes or so of this film, relays what Frank's adventure is going to be about. And finally, it asks question, it takes name, and does what every type of action adventure is supposed to do - entertain-entertain-entertain.
Granted, not everything in this movie is to my own particular taste exactly. A few of the actions scenes were pretty bog-standard compared to their oriental counterparts. Also, I was not that keen on how most of the plot derived from people lying to each other, which became rather repetitive as the story progressed. Plus, there were instances where problems and resolutions were executed in pretty quick succession, making certain scenes appear less pertinent compared to the rest. Still, by in large, this wasn't that bad a movie all in all. And I did enjoy the joyride and the majesty that this flick brought along with it.
Here, check out some of these filmic-facts to see what I mean: (1) Jason Statham did the majority of his own stunts in this movie. (2) Matthew Schulze was a teacher. (3) Sound editor, Vincent Tulli, made a cameo appearance in this flick as a refuse collector. (4) Qui Shu's inept manager pulled her out of the Hong-Komg classic "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", to do a commercial instead. (5) In the
poster, Corey Yuen is listed as the director, and Louis
Leterrier as the artistic director. Whereas in the European release, Yuen is
the action director, and Letterier is the director. (6) Mathew was a Levi's
model when he was 21 years old. (7) Jason's first big break in the entertainment industry came
when his agent put him on an advertisement for the French Connection clothing
company. (8) Qui was once a soft-core porn actress and a nude model. (9) Jason
already had some knowledge in martial arts before this movie was made, which
enabled him to perform his own fighting sequences. (10) Jason was in a
relationship with English model, Kelly Brook, for several years. And
he is now in a relationship with another model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
(11) Qui was a jury member of the Cannes International Film Festival, 2009. US
Overall 'The Transporter' was a fairly nice action film. It had nice actors in it, with all of them pretty to look at on screen. Moreover, the integral style was more incremental in the execution, and had a more grounded quality to it too. Shame that the subsequent movies were a bit naff, huh? Maybe Jason and company will come back again for 'Transporter 4' in the future. What do you say to that Jay?
Well sod you then.
THE RATING: B+